Order Code: IIC121DV   
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American government can be described as democratic, as constitutional, and as capitalistic, depending on whether one chooses to emphasize majority rule, the rule of law, or the role of private enterprise. Those who examine the exercise of power in America are proponents of either the majoritarian view, which emphaszies democracy; the pluralist view, which emphasizes the role of groups; or the elitist view, which is espoused by those who think government is controlled by a few powerful individuals.

Learning objectives:

  • Explain how American principles compare to those of European nations and be able to cite examples of how Americans have not always lived up to their principles.
  • Describe what politics means and to understand how politics springs from the scarcity of societal resources and from disagreements about values.
  • Understand the relationship between government, power, authority, and policy.
  • Understand the manner in which American government can be characterized as democratic, as constitutional, and as capitalistic.
  • Describe three major views of who exercises power in America.
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This title is part of the series: FRAMEWORK FOR DEMOCRACY






10 and up


Color and black-and-white

Run Time

26 minutes