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US Values / attributes
loud, self-confident/cocky, competitive/the best, diversity, individuality and individual free-dom, creativity, laid back/relaxed, friendly, open, “the future will be better than the past”, op-timistic, not traditional, conflict is alright (adversarial system), violence is a necessary evil sometimes.
When two equally strong/powerful forces fight it out, the truth, or the “correct answer” will emerge. (Query: what happens when the two sides are not equally matched?)
323 million people, 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, D.C. That’s 38 times more people than CH, 4 times more people than Germany.
Extremely diverse (geographically, culturally
Really 11 different cultural/geographical regions: 12 percent African-American/Black 16 percent Latino 1 percent Native American 5 percent Asian percent biracial 13 percent foreign born (might or might not be citizens)
By 2050, US will be “majority minority”, meaning “people of color” will be in the majority. People of color are people whose ancestors are not of European descent. US is very religious, compared with Europe: 69 percent Americans believe in God 45 percent Protestant, 20 percent Catholic 7 percent Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or other
Quick Overview of US History
1607 Jamestown settlement 1620 First slaves 1776 Declaration of Independence 1787 Constitution 1791 Bill of Rights 1808 Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade 1839 Trail of tears 1849 Gold Rush, Chinese Migration 1861-64 Civil War o 620,000 men died, in comparison to 644,000 in all other U.S. wars combined 1863 Emancipation Proclamation 1865 Reconstruction 1868 14th Amendment 1899 Annexation of Guam, Philippines 1914 World War I 1920 19th Amendment 1929 Stock Market Crash, Great Depression 1941 Pearl Harbor, US enters WWII 1945 Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1950 Korean War, Cold War 1954 Brown v. Board of Education 1955-1973 Vietnam War 1960 Civil Rights Act (1950-1960 Civil Rights Movement) 1972 Watergate 1991 Gulf war 2001 September 11th 2009-2017 Obama 2017 Trump
How Americans see the US
We are all refugees and immigrants. 2. We fled religious persecution and extreme poverty in Europe. 3. Religious freedom is really important to us. We are in many ways a religious people. 4. We revere the Constitution. We treat it almost as if it were sacred. Summary Notes Lectures MT 17. November 2018 Page | 7 5. The Constitution is what unites us. We are not a nation based on blood lines or tribes. We are people from all over the world, united by the constitution. 6. Role of violence in U.S. history – sometimes violence is a necessary evil. 7. Legacy of racism – remember that more of U.S. history has involved slavery (250 years) than has not (155 years). Slavery existed at the time of the Declaration of In-dependence (“all men are created equal”) and at the time of the Constitution. Slavery is considered the “original sin”. 8. History of independence, local control and isolationism. 9. We are the “new world”/the future, in contrast to “the Old World.” 10. “Best nation on Earth.” “God bless America.” “Promised Land” 11. “Pull yourself up by your bookstraps” – any individual can rise from poverty to wealth in the “land of opportunity.” 12. Deep skepticism/fear of “socialism”; economic “freedom” and individual freedom from government “interference” is revered. Communitarian values (everyone has a place in society) as in Europe relatively not valued. 13. New is good! Innovation is good!
The Constitution sets forth the structure of the government, among other things. Per the Constitution, there are three co-equal branches: the Legislative Branch (Article I of the Constitution), the Executive Branch (Article II), and the Judicial Branch (Article III).
The Legislative Branch
The legislative branch consists of the Congress. The Congress has two chambers.