Anda di halaman 1dari 141

CIVILIZATION AND MENTALITIES:

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

1. A Nation of Immigrants

British Colonies 1663-1775

1. A Nation of Immigrants
immigrants came to America for wealth, land, and freedom; 1st wave (1500s):
Spanish explorers (Florida); French fur traders (St. Lawrence RiverGreat LakesMississippi River); the British (Jamestown, Virginia); English Puritans (northeastern coast).

2nd wave (1600s-1700s):


mostly British; German farmers (Pennsylvania); Swedes (Delaware); Dutch (New York); Africans, French, Spanish, Swiss.

1. A Nation of Immigrants
the WASP culturewhite AngloSaxon Protestantwas predominant; Europeans seized Native American lands through war, threats, and treaties;

3rd wave (1840-1860):


10 million immigrants; the Chinese (California); the Irish; the Germans (500,000); the old immigrationnorthern and western Europeans (18401880).

1. A Nation of Immigrants
4th wave (late 1800s):
immigrants from southern and eastern Europe (Latin, Slavic and Jewish); Italians, Hungarians, Poles, Russians, Romanians and Greeks;

5th wave (1900-1920):


peak years of immigration: 1 million/year; immigrants crowded into large cities (Chicago, New York) forming ethnic neighborhoods: Little Italys or Chinatowns;

Little Italy, Lower Manhattan, New York

1. A Nation of Immigrants
the nativist sentiment:
racial superiority of the Nordic peoples over the Slavic and Latin ones; religious prejudice against Catholics and Jews;

the assimilation process:


the first generation: societys discrimination and their own reluctance to give up their language and culture; the second generation: spoke mostly English and they practiced fewer ethnic traditions; the third generation: no longer able to speak the language of their grandparents, desiring to regain the ethnic identity before it was lost; the fourth and fifth generation: intermarriage and no desire to reestablish the ethnic identity.

1. A Nation of Immigrants
6th wave (after the 1920s):
immigrants and refugees; Mexico, Latin America; Asia (Cambodia and Vietnam).

identity crisis:
the WASP national and religious identity has disappeared; US: melting pot vs. vegetable soup.
Cambodian immigrant working in Pennsylvania

2. The American Character


American identity is not defined by race, belief, or lifestyle but rather by ideals and values rooted in history; FREEDOM: Americans regard their society as the freest and the best in the world; the Founding Fathers established that all people are equal and that the role of government is to protect each persons basic inalienable rights; the Bill of Rights (1791): freedom of speech, press, and religion; American historygroups and individuals struggling to attain the freedom the Founding Fathers promised:
black slavery; religious, racial, sex, or age discrimination.

2. The American Character


The Founding Fathers

Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

John Adams

John Jay

James Madison

Alexander Hamilton

2. The American Character


DEMOCRACY: American democracy is based on majority rule, but it also protects minority rights; a form of government but also a way of life. INDIVIDUALISM: free individual identity (Thomas Jefferson); individual self-reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller); the individuals ability to control his or her fate (William Jones, John Dewey); the rugged individualism of frontier heroes like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett; individualism persists in corporate culture.
Davy Crockett Daniel Boone

2. The American Character


PRACTICALITY: idealizing what is practical comes from the frontier experience; what works is what counts; inventiveness was necessary for survival; Americans are natural-born do-it-yourselfers; VOLUNTEERISM: the do-it-yourself spirit; volunteers are highly motivated workers who organize themselves and others to solve a particular community problem or meet an immediate social need; six out of ten Americans are members of a volunteer organization; volunteerism reflects Americans optimistic pride in their ability to work out practical solutions themselves.
How-to Books

2. The American Character


PSYCHOLOGY OF ABUNDANCE: Americans take for granted an abundance of resources; Take four of the best kingdoms in Christendom and put them all together, they may in no way compare with this country either for commodities or goodness of soil (Sir Thomas Dale, 1611); but attitudes towards wastefulness are changing; Americas Mountain West is suffering from a severe water shortage; these limits contradict the psychology of abundance. MOBILITY: Americans like to move elsewhere and make a fresh start; this is not a sign of aimlessness but optimism; they may live in four or five cities during their lifetime; Americans hate to feel that buying a house might immobilize them forever; mobility contributes to the homogeneity of the society.

Moving House

2. The American Character


THE PIONEERING SPIRIT: Americans love to try something new: newer might be better; they move about fourteen times in their lifetime; the pioneering spirit is evident in:
midlife career changes; the readiness to go back to school at all ages; the frequency of changing the marriage pattern; the love of science and technology.

PATRIOTISM: national pride has become generally stronger than regional pride; patriotic symbols: flags, bumper stickers, the national anthem, national holidays (Thanksgiving and Independence Day); American patriotism concentrates on the historic event of the nations creation and on the idea of freedom rather than on the love of the land.

2. The American Character


PROGRESS: the ideal of progress was seen in the taming of the frontier and industrial expansion; it is personally measured as family progress over generations. THE AMERICAN DREAM: the dream of a land in which life should be better, richer, and fuller for every man with opportunities for each according to his abilities and achievement (J. T. Adams); rags-to-riches stories by Horatio Alger: any individual, no matter how poor, can achieve success through honesty and hard work; the American dream was not open to all.

2. The American Character


IN A HURRY: Americans have an obsession with promptness and efficiency; the pressure to make every moment count sometimes makes it difficult for Americans to relax and do nothing. ARE AMERICANS MATERIALISTIC? generosity and materialism run side by side. STRAIGHT TALK: children argue with their parents, students argue with their parents, students disagree with their teachers, citizens express opposition to the government; QUESTIONING OF VALUES in the 1960s and 1970s the Protestant values seemed to be collapsing; the 1980s saw a return to the conservative family values and a renewal of national pride; there has been increasing difference of opinion about Americans values and national goals.

3. Unity in Diversity
the United States is the fourth largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, and China; its 50 states cover about 3,600,000 square miles (9,324,000 square kilometers); two of the 50 states, Alaska and Hawaii, are situated outside the boundaries; the US controls 12 territories, such as Guam (South Pacific), the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico (Caribbean Sea); an immigrant coming from anywhere in the world can probably find a place in the USA that is similar to his or her native land.

3. Unity in Diversity

3. Unity in Diversity
total US population (2000): 281.4 millionfourth in the world (after China, India, and Russia); 211.5 million (75% of the population) are white; 34.7 million (12%) are black; 10.2 million (3.6%) are Asian; 35.3 million (12.5%) are Hispanic (the largest ethnic minority in the country). New Englanders are stern and self-reliant; Southerners are gracious and leisurely; Westerners are casual and friendly; Southern Californians are especially eager to try new fads; Midwesterners are considered more conservative than Californians and less worldly than New Yorkers.

The four main regionsthe Northeast, the South, the West, and the Midwestmaintain a degree of cultural identity

3. Unity in Diversity
The Northeast

New England

The Mid-Atlantic States

3. Unity in Diversity
The Northeast
more urban, more industrial, and more culturally sophisticated; New Englanders are thrifty, reserved, and dedicated to hard work; most of the countrys writers, artists, and scholars come from this region; best colleges and universities in the country: e.g. Harvard (business), MIT (economics and practical sciences); the economic and cultural dominance of New England has gradually receded since the Second World War.
Harvard University

3. Unity in Diversity
The South

Note: Texas and Florida are southern states, but are distinct regions in their own right. Historically, Maryland is a southern state, but is intermittingly classified as a Mid-Atlantic state.

3. Unity in Diversity
The South
most pronounced regional identity; originally settled by English Protestants who came for profitable farming opportunities; on large plantations slave labour was used; the Civil War experience helps explain why Southerners have developed a reverence for the past and a resistance to change; Southerners are more conservative, more religious, and more violent than the rest of the country.

Plantation Slaves

3. Unity in Diversity
The South
Southerners try to be more mindful of social rank and have strong ties to hometown and family; southern speech tends to be much slower and more musical; southern forms of music: the negro spiritual, blues, jazz, bluegrass mountain music, country music; outstanding literary region: William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Thomas Wolfe, and Carson McCullers.

William Faulkner

3. Unity in Diversity
The West
12 7 10 8 3 6 11 2 5 1 13 4 9

As defined by the Census Bureau, the western United States includes 13 states: Alaska (1), Arizona (2), California (3), Colorado (4), Hawaii (5), Idaho (6), Montana (7), Nevada (8), New Mexico (9), Oregon (10), Utah (11), Washington (12), Wyoming (13).

3. Unity in Diversity
The West
characterized by wide regional diversity:
arid wilderness in the Mountain West; rich farmland in California; the Pacific coast is densely populated and highly industrial.

Californias progressive economy is a trendsetter for the rest of the nation; Western states are troubled by the water scarcity and the government-owned land; the region is rich in uranium, coal, crude oil, oil shale etc.

3. Unity in Diversity
The Midwest

3. Unity in Diversity
The Midwest
the Midwest is typically American; fertile farmland and abundant resources; class divisions are felt less strongly here than in other regions; Midwesterners direct their concerns to their own domestic affairs, avoiding matters of wider interest; the plains states make up Americas Farmbelt; the Midwest is a region of small towns and huge tracts of farmland; Chicago is the nations third largest city.

Midwest Nebraska

3. Unity in Diversity
Americanization
the distinctiveness of these regions is disappearing:
cultural interchange through interstate highways and communication lines; television has conveyed mainstream American culture to everyone; mobility has also played an important part in leveling off regional differences; new migration trends: from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West (Frostbelt Sunbelt);

regional differences are significantly less striking today than they were 40 years ago.

Sunbelt Retreat: Phoenix, Arizona

4. The Economic Climate


the US is a free enterprise system: private business operates for profit with minimum government interference; Adam Smiths laissez faire conception influenced the development of capitalism:
the more people manufacture and trade, the greater the competition; competition benefits society by allowing the consumer to seek the best product at the lowest price; market forces (the invisible hand) control the efficient allocation of goods while each participant in the market is seeking his or her own self-interest.

Adam Smith Scottish Philosopher (1723-1790)

4. The Economic Climate


but government regulation now exists in many areas of business ranging from product safety to labor conditions; Republicans complain of too much government regulation; Democrats are generally more willing to accept the governments role in business and the economy; Americans generally support free private enterprise; American living standard:
average annual income (2003)$52,680; about 60% of all families and individuals were in the middle-income or high-income ranks; about 12.5% of the population (8.2% White, 24.3% Black, 11.8% Asian and 22.5% Hispanic) lived below the official poverty level, ($18,850 for a family of four in 2003).

4. The Economic Climate


the United States is the worlds leading producer of electrical energy, aluminum, copper, sulphur, and paper, and one of the top producers of natural gas and automobiles; US farmers produce enough food for domestic consumption and still supply 15% of the world food needs; the United States is the worlds largest importer and exporter; it exports agricultural products, machinery, automotive products, aircraft, and chemicals; it imports petroleum products, foods and beverages, machinery, and iron and steel products.
Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant

4. The Economic Climate


declining growth rates are a major concern; stiff foreign competition challenges US manufacturers to step-up productivity levels, modernize their factories, and provide better worker training; structural changes: a shift from the production of goods to the delivery of services; the manufacture of high-technology computer, aerospace, and biochemical products and services are also on the rise; one serious problem that hampers economic growth domestically and affects the United States ability to sell products overseas is the enormous federal budget deficit.

Boeing Assembly Plant Everett, Wash.

4. The Economic Climate


farming has become too productive to be profitable: low crop prices have resulted from overproduction; a variety of governmental and private programs (crop insurance, loan guarantees, and price supports) have been set up to assist farmers; the trend in modern agriculture is towards large-scale enterprise; while giant corporations dominate US economy, entrepreneurs also have a significant impact on the American economy; Americans are known for being highly success-oriented and dedicated to hard work (yuppie young upwardly-mobile professional).

4. The Economic Climate


labor unions in America do not have the power or political direction of their counterparts in Europe; the largest American labor union is the joint AFL-CIO (the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations); American labor unions today are faced with a decreasing membership; reasons:
the decline in manufacturing industries (less blue-collar workers); the movement of many industries to the South (stricter right-to-work laws).

social protection: unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits.

A Social Security number is a ninedigit number that is unique to each person. It is given to citizens of the United States and permanent residents of the US by the Social Security Administration. It is necessary to have this number to file taxes, apply for work, to get any type of assistance from the government, to get a mortgage or to get credit. Children must have a Social Security number by the age of one. There is no fee for a Social Security number. The number is issued on a Social Security card.

5. American City Life

5. American City Life


New York
what is barely hinted at in other American cities is condensed and enlarged in New York (Saul Bellow); a focus of culture and power; a city of poverty and deterioration; New Yorks ethnic groups generally do not intermix; the largest city in the United States (population 8,104,079).

5. American City Life


Los Angeles
the largest city in California and the second-largest urban area in the nation; population 3,845,541; it attracted people and industry from all parts of the nation; major hub of shipping, manufacturing, industry, and finance, and is world-renowned in the entertainment and communications fields; Hollywood is a suburb of Los Angeles.

5. American City Life


Chicago
the largest city in Illinois; population: 2,862,244; a major Great Lakes port and the commercial, financial, industrial, and cultural center of the Midwest; the manufacturing industries dominate the wholesale and retail trade, and trade in agricultural commodities is important to the economy; attractions: the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Jane AddamsHull House Museum, Navy Pier.

5. American City Life


Washington
the capital of the United States; population: 553,523; the federal government and tourism are the mainstays of the citys economy; many unions, business, professional, and nonprofit organizations are headquartered here; attractions: the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

5. American City Life


San Francisco
the fourth-largest city in California; population: 744,230; the electronics and biotechnology industries are well represented; tourism is one of San Franciscos largest industries and the largest employer of city residents; San Francisco is also the banking and financial center of the West.

5. American City Life


Boston
the largest city in Massachusetts; population: 569,165; a major industrial, financial, and educational hub and has one of the finest ports in the world; the citys banking and financial services, insurance, and real estate sectors drive its economy; other businesses are in high technology, biotechnology, software, and electronics.

5. American City Life


Philadelphia
the largest city in Pennsylvania; population: 1,470,151; manufacturing specialties: chemicals (including pharmaceuticals), medical devices, transportation equipment, printing and publishing; the services sector: health services, insurance carriers, legal services, and architecture and engineering services; the city abounds in landmarks of early American history, including Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell.

5. American City Life


cities grew rapidly:
in the 1780s only 10% of the Americans lived in cities; by 1920, 50%; by 1980, 80%.

at the beginning of the 1800s sanitation, housing, and public education were inadequate; by 1920 most cities had public health facilities, housing quality laws, and more adequate public schools; urbanization is an inescapable fact of modern life.

5. American City Life


one recent trend: suburbanization; in the suburbs both the spaciousness of rural life and the bustling activity of urban life are available; as suburban rings spread further and further out, metropolitan areas, in the past ten or twenty years, have become enormous; many metropolitan areas have become so large that they have begun to merge into other metropolitan areas, forming a megalopolis; one megalopolis extends along the Atlantic coast from Boston through New York to Washington, DC.

5. American City Life


better public transportation (electric trolley lines and trains) made suburbanization possible; the middle class moved away from the working class and the wealthier moved even further into the countryside; what followed was a rough stratification along class lines; the emergence of suburbs was aided by the popularization of the private car.

5. American City Life


housing: two-thirds of the Americans live in homes or apartments that they own; apartment buildings:
walk-ups (2-6 apartments); high-rise elevator buildings (more than 100 units); condominiums (condos) or co-operative apartments (co-ops);

the typical suburban home: at least two bathrooms, a den, and a separate bedroom for every child; more than 10 million Americans live in mobile homes; in 1988 700,000 people were homeless.

5. American City Life


with suburbanization, city centers were regarded as the least desirable areas in which to live; they were then populated by the uneducated and unskilled; one solution, in the 1960s, was the systematic clearance of slums and the construction of modern high-rise social housing units in their place; another is the private-sector restoration of dilapidated housing, known as gentrification; private sector groups (architects, bankers, retailers) have been active in redeveloping downtown areas; downtown programs: main-street malls, skywalks, and dial-a-bus systems.

Atlanta Peachtree Center

5. American City Life


small towns have been experiencing heavy population growth; Americans would rather live in small towns or rural areas if they could; small town life is far from idyllic:
high unemployment rates; tight budgets; housing shortages; downtown decay; poverty;

the countryside is becoming more urbanized.

6. The Legal System


Americans treat the law as part of their everyday lives; local, state, and federal courts handle about 12 million cases a year; there is one lawyer for every 440 Americans; the constitutional rights and freedoms are guaranteed in the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution; the judicial branch of government operates independently alongside the executive and legislative branches; within the judicial branch, authority is divided between state and federal (national) courts; at the head of the judicial branch is the Supreme Court, the final interpreter of the Constitution.

6. The Legal System

*
*arraignment, call to account, accusation

6. The Legal System


Federal Courts

*certiorari, the process by which a party to a case requests that the case be reviewed by the Supreme Court

6. The Legal System


the US has very high crime rates; in urban ghettos, homicide is the leading cause of death among black males between the ages of 25 and 45; only 20% of the people involved in illegal activity are apprehended; the rights of criminal suspects include:
the protection from unreasonable search and seizure; the suspects right to decline to testify against himself/herself; the right to counsel; protection from excessive bail and from cruel and unusual punishment.

the exclusionary rule, which excludes from the trial any evidence gained by unlawful search and seizure; the Miranda rule: suspects must be read their legal rights before being questioned by police.

6. The Legal System


out of the 50 states only 14 have abolished the death penalty; it is seen as the only appropriate punishment for sadistic murderers; the social problems which aggravate violence (poverty, unemployment, and unstable families) are likely to persist; the nations prisons are overcrowded, many of them are old and rundown; many Americans fear that gun control laws will prevent law-abiding citizens from being able to protect their homes.

6. The Legal System


The Legal Profession
Lawyers the number of lawyers has exploded (1,000,000 today); they can be:
private practitioners; in-house counsels; government lawyers.

private practitioners may practice alone, in small to middle-sized firms, or in large firms; at the high end a large firm senior partner may charge as much as $500 per hour while at the low end, a lawyer charges at least $100 per hour.

6. The Legal System


The Legal Profession
Judges federal judges serve for life, although they can be removed by congressional impeachment; the federal judiciary is less accountable to the people than are the other two branches of government; some people have criticized the fact that federal judges can issue far-reaching rulings without fear of being voted out of office; state judges come to the bench in a variety of ways: some judges are appointed by state governors and, after a period of time, stand for elections; others are elected from the beginning.

7. Minority versus Majority


in the 19th and 20th centuries, discrimination because of color, culture, or age undermined American freedom; African-American struggle for equal rights was long and hard; the Declaration of Independence and three Constitutional amendments (13th, 14th, 15th) provided for equal rights for the blacks; but Southern whites found ways to circumvent the intention of the amendments; racial segregation was made legal; the 1950s and 1960s saw a campaign of civil rights movements, especially run by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

7. Minority versus Majority


All men are created equal
(Declaration of Independence).

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction (13th Amendment).

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws (14th Amendment).

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (15th Amendment).

7. Minority versus Majority


Civil rights legislation:
1957first civil rights legislation; 1963amendment prohibiting the use of a poll tax in federal elections; 1964against administering voting laws in a discriminatory manner; 1965Voting Rights Act (abolished literacy tests).

affirmative action laws: to match the racial and sexual composition of the working place with the composition of society; wide disparities remain between whites and blacks: poverty rate, unemployment rate, family breakdown, violence and murder.

7. Minority versus Majority


Hispanicsthe fastest growing ethnic minority; origin: Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico; suffered from job discrimination and poverty; in the 1960s they rallied for better wages and working conditions, improved public services and bilingual education; changes have occurred, but much remains to be done. Native Americans have suffered because federal policy towards them wavered: assimilation vs. autonomy.

7. Minority versus Majority


the number of the elderly has grown twice as fast as the rest of the population; 1967the Age Discrimination Act: prohibits discrimination against people between 40-65 years of age. the disabled are seeking equal education and employment; 1973the Rehabilitation Act: encourages employers to hire and schools to admit disabled people. homosexuals seek laws banning discrimination against them; many states have passed such laws.

7. Minority versus Majority


Changes for women: more women are entering the labor force; more women have been attaining higher education levels; women are having fewer children; more young women are single; women are marrying at a later age; women no longer favor traditional marriages; Women now compete with men for professional training, employment, leadership positions, and political power.

7. Minority versus Majority


sex discrimination extended well into the 20th century based on the concept of romantic paternalism; in 1920 women gained the right to vote; the modern feminist movement (1960s):
1963Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique; 1966the National Organization for Women (NOW)access to jobs, political power, equal pay; Equal Pay Act (1963); Equal Rights Act (1964).
Betty Friedan

7. Minority versus Majority


professional women have entered many male-dominated occupations: officers, accountants, doctors, lawyers, business managers, politicians; compensatory back pay to female employees; non-sexist language: chairperson replaces chairman and mail carrier replaces mailman; womens history has emerged as a new field of study; discrimination and inequalities still persist; anti-feminists oppose the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): Phyllis Schlafly and Midge Decter; professional women have to divide their energies between duties at home and those at work.

Phyllis Schlafly

Midge Decter

8. The System of Government


Representative Democracy the people direct policies by voting; the constitution defines:
the powers of national and state governments; the functions and framework of each branch of government; the rights of individual citizens.

Limited Government the federal organization of government; the separation of powers among different branches of government; a system of checks and balances to restrict the powers of each branch.

8. The System of Government


Federalism: Division of Powers
Powers of the National Government To regulate foreign trade and commerce between states; To borrow and coin money; To conduct foreign relations with other nations; To establish post offices and roads; To raise and support armed forces; To declare war and make peace; To govern territories and admit new states; To pass naturalization laws and regulate immigration; To make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its powers. Powers Denied to the National Government To tax exports; To suspend writ of habeas corpus (a court order issued in order to bring a party before a court or judge); To change state boundaries without consent of states involved; To abridge the Bill of Rights. Powers Reserved to State Governments To regulate trade within the state; To establish local governments; To conduct elections; To determine voter qualifications; To establish and support public schools; To incorporate business firms; To license professional workers; To ratify amendments; To keep all the reserved powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states. Powers Denied to State Governments To coin money; To enter into treaties; To tax agencies of the federal government; To tax imports or exports.

8. The System of Government


Federalism: Division of Powers Powers Common to Both National and State Governments (Concurrent Powers) To collect taxes; To borrow money; To establish and maintain courts; To make and enforce laws; To provide for the health and welfare of the people. Powers Denied to Both National and State Governments To pass ex post facto laws (laws operating retroactively); To pass bills of attainder (pronouncing a person guilty without a trial); To deny due process of law; To grant titles of nobility

8. The System of Government

Separation of Powers

Legislative Branch Congress: House of Representatives; Senate;

Executive Branch President; Vice-President; Cabinet.

Judicial Branch Supreme Court; Federal Courts; State Courts.

8. The System of Government

US Capitol Building (Congress)

House of Representatives

Senate

White House

US Supreme Court

8. The System of Government


1. The Bill is introduced in one of the chambers

6. The President signs the Bill into Law

2.Committee stage (foreign affairs, defense, banking, agriculture)

From Bill to Law


5. A conference committee works out a compromise 4. The Bill is sent to the other chamber (the process is repeated) 3. Debate in the respective chamber

8. The System of Government


Checks and Balances
EXECUTIVE

LEGISLATIVE

JUDICIAL

each branch checks or limits the power of the other branches; with the system of checks and balances, no branch of government has superior power.

8. The System of Government


political participation: groups and individuals exert pressure to influence government policy; interest groups want to influence public policy through the mass media, letters to politicians, telephone calls, public meetings and advertisements; a lobbyist may be a lawyer or former legislator who specializes in the interest he represents and has an insiders view of the lawmaking process.
Dave Wenhold, president of the American League of Lobbyists

8. The System of Government


The Federal System
The power to govern is divided between the national (federal) government, located in Washington DC and the state governments
The executive branch GOVERNOR

AT STATE LEVEL

The legislative branch STATE LEGISLATURE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The judicial branch TRIAL COURT APPELATE COURT SUPREME COURT

8. The System of Government


The American party system has three features: two parties alternating in power, lack of ideology, lack of unity and discipline. Major parties

Minor parties

8. The System of Government


Elections
General Elections single-member district system; winner take all; only one candidatethe one with the most votesis elected to a given office from any one district. Presidential Elections the major parties organize conventions with delegates from all states; some delegates may vote for a favorite son; the vice-presidential candidate is the running mate; if the pair of candidates appeal to different blocs of voters they achieve a balanced ticket;

on the first Tuesday in November voters cast their votes; when citizens cast votes, they are actually selecting their states electors (the Electoral College); to be elected, candidates for president and vice-president must receive a majority of the votes in the Electoral College; the newly elected president and vice-president are inaugurated in January during a solemn, nationally televised, ceremony.

8. The System of Government


the two major parties tend to be similar: they have the same overall political and economic goals; they propose different means of achieving similar goals: Democrats generally believe in providing social and economic programs for those who need them; Republicans favor big business and private enterprise and want to limit the role of government; most Democrats are moderates or liberals, while most Republicans are moderates or conservatives; Democrats have also favored a stronger federal government, while Republicans have emphasized states rights.

8. The System of Government


American party politics has been largely devoid of ideology; Americans tend to prefer somewhat vague party programs to the rigors of political ideology; American parties show a lack of unity and discipline; parties are organized as loose confederations of state parties, which, in turn, are decentralized down to the local level; the absence of an organized party structure and established hierarchy of leaders contributes to party disunity; many Americans are politically uninvolved.

8. The System of Government


Reasons for low voter turnout Unlike most of the nations, the United States requires early voter registration. Election campaigns tend to be much longer in the United States than in many other nations. After following campaigns that sometimes begin a year or more before the election, many Americans lose interest and do not vote. American elections are always held on Tuesdays, a normal working day, whereas elections in many other nations are held on weekends. The American two-party system may contribute to low voter turnout because voters choice is limited. The other democratic nations have parliamentary systems, in which the outcome of the election determines both the executive and legislative branches of government. Voters in these countries may feel that their vote carries more weight.

9. America as a World Power


the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) political, military, and economic influence

military bases in strategic areas of the world

GLOBAL SUPERPOWER

political and military ties to democratic governments

2 mil. military personnel (1/4 serve overseas)

formidable military and nuclear forces

9. America as a World Power


the US economy surpasses all other economies in overall production US investment boosts the economies of other nations the status of the dollar as chief international currency increases US power US export of technology produces worldwide economic growth the American economy is bound to have a global economic influence

THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY STRENGTH IS GENERATED BY A POWERFUL ECONOMY

9. America as a World Power


The US has often used its economic power to achieve its political aims

FOREIGN POLICY PRINCIPLES

(1) moral aim: protecting and promoting democratic systems and democratic values

(2) practical principle: protecting Americas political and economic interests

(3) direction: maintaining the balance of international power

9. America as a World Power


Twentieth-Century Foreign Policy before each of the two World Wars American foreign policy evolved from isolationism to interventionism; after WWII two spheres of influence emerged: American (Western Europe and Japan) and Soviet (Eastern Europe and China); the cold war period meant mounting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union; during the cold war, US adopted a policy of containment (stopping the spread of communism); the Marshall Plan: a four-year program of economic reconstruction in Western Europe ($12 billion); a similar plan for Japan.

The Iron Curtain

9. America as a World Power


Twentieth-Century Foreign Policy

the US used military force to support pro-western governments (Korea, Guatemala, Lebanon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada); the 1962 Cuban missile crisis; the direct intervention in the Vietnam war (neither popular nor successful); the policy of dtente in the 1970s; arms control talks: SALT I (1972), SALT II (1979).

9. America as a World Power


Twentieth-Century Foreign Policy

hostility is renewed in 1979 when Soviet troops invade Afghanistan and when martial law is declared in Poland (1981); US military intervention in Central America to stop the spread of communism (El Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua); reasons for US involvement in the Middle East:
protect the worlds oil supply; maintain a friendly relationship with Israel; limit the influence of the Soviet Union in the area.

the US balances its national security interests with the need for world stability and peace.

Second Gulf War

10. The System of Education


school attendance is compulsory for all children; public education from kindergarten through grade 12 is tax-supported and no tuition is required; the goal is educating an ever-greater proportion of the population; 32% of Americans 25 years or older have at least some college education (highest in the world); Public Schools they are supported by taxes and do not charge tuition; they are neighborhood schools open to all students that live in the district; they are co-educational (that is, for both boys and girls); they are required to follow some state guidelines, curriculum and teacher qualifications; each school district is run by an elected Board of Education and the school administrators that the board hires; public schools are nonsectarian (secular), that is, free from the influence of religion.

10. The System of Education


the course content and teaching method is largely influenced by John Dewey; education must be meaningful and children learn best by doing; high schools have a dual commitment: to offer a general college preparatory program for those interested; to provide opportunities for vocational training for those who want to go to work. private schools are parochial (mostly Roman-Catholic) or secular.

10. The System of Education


typical school day: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; vacation periods: two-weeks in winter, one-week in spring (Easter), two months in summer; only in high school students move from one classroom to another and study each subject with a different teacher; high-school students are involved in extracurricular activities, such as athletics, dramatics, or music.

School Cafeteria

10. The System of Education


Higher education schools can be: community colleges: only offer two years of study; do not award degrees; do not involve students in research. four-year colleges: award undergraduate degrees; do not train students for research; universities: award any degree; have a strong commitment to research.

Harvard University

10. The System of Education


Degrees: after four years of study: bachelors degree (Bachelor of Arts [BA] or Bachelor of Science [BSc] or [BS]); College grades: A, B, C, D, and F (falling grade); graduate degrees:
masters degree (MA): one or two years of study beyond the bachelors degree; a PhD degree (doctor of philosophy): at least three years beyond the masters degree; graduate professional degrees in medicine, dentistry, and law, among other fields.

10. The System of Education


Life on campus: student unions; fraternities (social and, in some cases, residential clubs for men); sororities (similar clubs for women); the former students are often called alumni (sing. alumnus) and their former university is referred to as their alma mater.

Financial aid: scholarships (grants); loans to students and/or their parents; student employment (meaning working and studying at the same time).

Sigma Chi Fraternity House Illinois Wesleyan University

10. The System of Education


Standardized tests: GED (Test of General Educational Development): adult students who have not finished high school; ACT (American College Test); SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test); TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language): foreign students; adult education or continuing education, is operated by many high schools and community colleges.

10. The System of Education


Educational opportunities: students takes courses depending on their abilities and future goals and on the schools course offerings; in higher education, the variety of degree programs is remarkable; the standards students must meet to attain a high school diploma are rigorous in some schools and lax in others; the education system in the United States and that it benefits from decentralized funding and administration; there is no national curriculum, most schools teach similar core subjects and also elective courses.
Core Curriculum Elementary school: Penmanship, Science, Mathematics, Music, Art, Physical Education, Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Grammar), Social Studies (Geography, History, and Citizenship); High school: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education

10. The System of Education


Equal opportunity: the fact that public schools receive the bulk of their funds from local property taxes creates; although progress has been slow, integration has succeeded in narrowing the education gap between blacks and whites; measures to protect minorities from discrimination were extended to disabled children; in order to improve the quality of instruction some actions have been taken:

- stronger academic curricula, with a back-to-basics emphasis on reading, writing, math, and science; - stricter standards for students, including a heavier homework load and higher grading standards; - higher salaries to attract and keep talented, well-qualified teachers.

11. The Religious Context


America is unusually religious: church buildings outnumber gas stations; Sunday morning traffic is congested; bookstores have an entire section of religious; Bibles are the nations bestselling books; religious messages on billboards, T-shirts, and bumper sticker; Young Americans are far more religious than their counterparts in most other countries.

11. The Religious Context


Religion and Politics

the motto on the seal of the United States; the pledge of allegiance to the flag; American currency bears the inscription In God We Trust; US presidents take their oath of office on the Bible; every session of Congress opens with a prayer.

11. The Religious Context


there are three major faiths: Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism plus 1,500 major and minor sectarian churches; the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits an established national religion; Protestantism has occupied a dominant position in American society; the first settlers of Massachusetts were members of a radical Protestant group called Puritans; the Protestant work ethic has long been associated with capitalism and American attitudes.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (The First Amendment)

People prove their worth to themselves and to God by working hard, being honest and thrifty, and avoiding luxury, excessive personal pleasure, and waste. The accumulation of wealth is not considered evil unless it leads to a life of idleness and sin. (Protestant work ethic)

11. The Religious Context


Protestantism: 186 denominations

Congregationalists Methodists Presbyterians


MAINSTREAM PROTESTANTISM

Mennonites

Baptists

Lutherans Southern Baptists

RADICAL PROTESTANTISM

Pentecostals

Reformed

Episcopals

The Mormons (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

11. The Religious Context


Catholics they are the second largest religious group; but they are the largest unified religious body; Catholics have built elementary, secondary schools, colleges and universities; John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president of the US. Jews Jews constituted 1.4% of the population in 2001; there are three major denominations in Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform; although Jews are few in number, their contribution to the cultural and intellectual America is great.

11. The Religious Context


The religious landscape changes: the declining influence of the mainline Protestant churches; radical Protestant groups have been steadily attracting members (the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of the Nazarene, Assemblies of God, and Southern Baptists); the percentage of Catholics attending weekly mass declined sharply; Americas Protestants, Catholics, and Jews have become less divided; Jews are willing to discard those practices that made Judaism seem exotic; a significant trend in American religious life is increasing pluralism.

11. The Religious Context


Americans show little tolerance towards some sects and cults (The Moonies, the Hare Krishnas, and the followers of Bhagwan Rajneesh); the rise of the evangelical (or fundamentalist) movement: - a true Christian must have a born-again experience; - the Bible is the authoritative word of God; - a personal relationship with Jesus is at the center of every Christians life; evangelicals attacked secular humanism and crusaded for moral issues, focusing attention on the family and schools.

11. The Religious Context


Involvement in politics: fundamentalist minister Jerry Falwells Moral Majority (1970s): opposed homosexuality, pornography, abortion, and the teaching of evolution in schools; TV evangelist Pat Robertson, was a candidate for the 1988 presidential election; preachers of the electronic church resemble commercial television show hosts more than ministers; Religion has a greater emotional hold on older generations, on poor people and uneducated ones, and in the southern part of America, sometimes called the Bible Belt.

12. American Lifestyles


Marriage
when choosing a mate, the decision is usually based on love; upon engagement the man offers his fiance a diamond engagement ring; the brides parents give their daughter a trousseau of new clothing and linens; relatives and friends organize a shower (a party just for women); the groom and his friends celebrate at a bachelor or stag party.

12. American Lifestyles


Wedding Customs
the brides veil; something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue; the groom usually wears a tuxedo; the groom should not see the wedding gown or the bride before the ceremony; the double ring ceremony; the young couple promise to love each other until death do us part; the guests throw ricea fertility symbolrose petals and confetti; the couples car is decorated with tin cans, paper streamers, and old shoes, plus a Just Married sign; the wedding cake; the bride throws her bouquet of flowers to the group of single women at the party; after the wedding the newlyweds take a vacation called honeymoon.

12. American Lifestyles


Wedding Customs

12. American Lifestyles


Contemporary Marriage
the traditional representation of the family in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the homemaker is fading away; the United States has one of the highest divorce rates in the world; usually the man pays his former wife a monthly sum of money called alimony; in most cases the children live with the mother and the father pays child support and has visitation rights; alternative lifestyles are represented by the unmarried couples living together and homosexual relationships.

12. American Lifestyles


Family Life
American families give their children their most important experiences and values; there are about 105 million household of which 68 million are families; 24% of American children live with only one parent; there are 1.46 children per household, while the American household has on average 2.6 people; 12% of the population are over 65 and senior citizens fall into two groups: the young old (ages 65 to 75); the old-old (over 75). about 55% of the married women go to work.
Phrases for family quarrels: the battle of the sexes, when husband and wife fight for dominance; sibling rivalry, that is competition and jealousy between brothers and sisters; generation gap, when parents and children do not understand each others attitudes; in-law problems, when older parents try to control the lives of their married children.

12. American Lifestyles


Eating Habits

Breakfast

Bacon and eggs Pancakes and maple syrup

Waffles and maple syrup

Sugaring time

12. American Lifestyles


Eating Habits
Lunch

Peanut butter and jelly

Hamburger

Hot dog

Diner

Cafeteria

12. American Lifestyles


Eating Habits

Ice cream sundae

Milkshake

Ice cream soda

Apple pie la mode

Brunch

Clambake

12. American Lifestyles


Eating Habits
Regional Food Specialties

Seafood chowder

Boston cream pie

Grits

Fritters

12. American Lifestyles


American Etiquette
Introductions and Titles it is polite to say the womans name first; but if the man is elderly or famous, then his name or title should be mentioned first; when two people of the same sex are introduced, the older person is named first; titles that precede the last name are: Mr., Miss, Mrs., and Ms., for a woman whose marital status we do not know or is not relevant; to address a man whose name you do not know use Sir, it is rude to call him Mister; to address a woman you do not know use Madam or Maam; Doctor (Dr.) is used not only for medical doctors but also for a dentist and for a person with an academic doctorate degree; very few titles are used without the family name: Doctor, Professor, Father, Rabbi (it is not correct to address a teacher as Teacher).

12. American Lifestyles


American Etiquette

12. American Lifestyles


Dining Etiquette
If you are invited to a friends house for dinner: arrive approximately on time, not earlier; bring a small gift: flowers, candy, wine, an item made in your country; if you are served a food that you do not like or cannot eat, eat what you can; if questioned, admit that you do not eat meat but add that you have enjoyed the other foods and have had more than enough to eat; do not make the cook feel obliged to prepare something else for you; compliment the cook on the food that you have enjoyed; do not leave immediately after dinner, but do not overstay your welcome either; the next day call or write a thank you note to say how much you enjoyed the evening.

12. American Lifestyles


Dining Etiquette
If you invite someone to dinner in a restaurant: phone to make a reservation, giving your name, number of people, and time of arrival; reach for the bill when it arrives and pay it; if your companion insists on paying his or her share, do not get into an argument about it, respect his or her feelings; the tip is not added to the bill: if the service was adequate, leave a tip equal to about 15% of the bill; in expensive restaurants leave a bit more; do not tuck your napkin into the collar or vest, place it across the lap; the silverware placement is different from the European style, but you cannot go wrong if you use the piece of silverware furthest from the plate first and work your way towards the plate as the meal progresses; before cutting food some Americans switch their knife and fork to the opposite hands, but it is not necessary to do this.

12. American Lifestyles


Dining Etiquette
Manners between men and women: men are protective about women, helping them on and off their coats, lighting their cigarettes, opening doors for them, allowing them to exit from elevators first; but if a man does not help his date into and out of her chair in a restaurant no one will think he is rude; a man and a woman may go out together on a Dutch treat, that is, each pays for his or her own way. Classroom etiquette is less formal than in other countries: students are encouraged to ask questions during class and stop at the professors office for extra help or phone if they need an assignment; Americans are tolerant of non-native speakers who have trouble understanding English.

13. Artistic Life


attendance and participation in the arts increased; attendance at theatrical performances rose from 53% to 67%; the number of people attending dance performances rose from 23% percent to 34%; attendance at live performances of classical or symphonic music went up from 25% to 34%; attendance at live performances of operas or musicals rose from 25% to 30%; the number of people involved in painting, drawing, or the graphic arts rose from 22% to 29%; participation in local theater groups, in ballet and modern dance increased significantly.

13. Artistic Life


the governments role in supporting the arts has increased; the National Endowment for the Arts, a government agency, contributes to the advancement of the arts; the evolution of American art has produced a diversity of art styles; in visual arts abstract expressionism appeared after the Second World War; it focused on the utilization of space, dimension, and surface texture, and the interrelationship of colors.

13. Artistic Life

Jackson Pollock

Andy Warhol

Willem de Kooning

Mark Rothko

13. Artistic Life


Music

Scott Joplin Ragtime

Dizzie Gillespie Jazz

Leonard Bernstein Composer

Bob Dylan Rock

Duke Ellington Jazz

Charlie Parker Jazz

Johnny Cash Country and Western

Bruce Springsteen Rock

Louis Armstrong Jazz

George Gershwin Composer

Elvis Presley Rock

Stevie Wonder Rock

13. Artistic Life


Modern Dance

Isadora Duncan

Hollywood Highlights

Martha Graham

14. A Sporting Nation


Americans are a sports-loving nation: a baseball fan can recite each players batting average; he competes with other fans to give the answers to the most obscure and trivial questions about the sport; thousands of fans demonstrate team support in pre-Superbowl pep rallies; people pursue the latest fitness fads (fitness has become a science).

14. A Sporting Nation


The immense popularity of sports in America: the large number of pages and headlines the average daily newspaper; evening news telecasts always contain sports; television has made sports available to all; it alters the nature of the games; the major networks average about 500 hours each of sports programming a year; the emergence of several cable channels that specialize in sports.

14. A Sporting Nation


Opportunities: jogging, aerobic exercise and training with weight-lifting machines (a muscular, healthy body as the American beauty ideal); recreational parks: tennis and basketball courts, football or soccer fields; indoor gymnasiums: informal team sports; the country club (the health and fitness center): swimming, volleyball, golf, racquetball, handball, tennis, and basketball; schools and colleges have institutionalized team sports.

Country Club

14. A Sporting Nation


the most popular sports in America, football, baseball, and basketball, originated in the US; other popular sports: ice hockey, boxing, golf, car racing, horse racing, and tennis; paradox: professional football, ice hockey, boxing etc. are aggressive and bloody while spectators are notably less violent than those in other countries.

Early Baseball

14. A Sporting Nation

Big Bill Tilden

Suzanne Lenglen

Rodman Wanamaker

Mildred Babe Didrikson

Jesse Owens

14. A Sporting Nation


Team Sports: professional football is the most successful sport on TV; baseball had less success, being too slow, dignified and out of touch with modern life; initially basketball was a big city and black sport; sports are big business: TV networks buy the right to broadcast the games, advertisers pay the networks a lot of money to show commercials; National Football League (NFL) teams get 65% of their revenues from television; there is an oversaturation of sports programming on networks and cable channels.

Football

14. A Sporting Nation


to move from amateur to professional status a player needs sponsors and publicity; many top players earn more money a year in product-endorsement fees than in prize money; college sports lost its amateurism years ago: football and basketball are the most lucrative; athletes do not enroll in college to learn, but to play sports and perhaps use intercollegiate sports as a springboard for a professional career; playing to win is emphasized more than playing for fun; millions of Americans continue to engage in player-oriented sports: handball, squash, racquetball, platform tennis, gymnastics, cycling, or roller-skating.
handball: a small ball is batted against a wall or walls with the hand, while wearing a special glove; squash: game played in a four-walled court with a small, long-handled racket and a small rubber ball (in full squash racquets), or one played in a similar court, but with a larger racket and a larger, livelier ball (in full squash tennis); racquetball is a game played with a short-handled racket; platform tennis or paddle tennis is an outdoor game played with paddles (flat, rounded pieces of wood with short handles) and a rubber ball on a raised platform surrounded by a screen, combining elements of tennis, handball, and squash.

14. A Sporting Nation

Handball Squash

Raquetball Platform Tennis (Paddle Tennis)

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Labor Day The first Monday in September

Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Parade

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Columbus Day The second Monday of October

Christopher Columbus Amerigo Vespucci

Leif Ericson Lorenzo di Medici

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Halloween (All Halows Eve) October 31

Samhain

Trick-or-treating

Pomona Bobbing for apples

Jack-o-lantern

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Thanksgiving Day The fourth Thursday in November

The Mayflower

William Bradford

Chief Massasoit

Cranberries

Squash

Pumpkin pie

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Christmas December 25

Poinsettia

Santa Claus

Mistletoe

Ebenezer Scrooge Holly

Menorah (Hanukkah)

15. Holidays and Celebrations


New Year January 1

Eggnog

Times Square

Yuan TanFestival of Lanterns

Rosh Hashanah

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Easter Easter-related holidays Shrovetide: the three or four days preceding Lent; Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras: the last day of Shrovetide; Ash Wednesday: the beginning of Lent; Palm Sunday: the beginning of the Holy Week; Maundy Thursday: or Holy Thursday, is the remembrance of Christs Last Supper; Good Friday: recalls the Friday of the Crucifixion.
Passover matzos

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Washingtons Birthday The third Monday in February

Lincolns Birthday

February 12 (the third Monday in February)

Celebrated in about thirty northern states

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Memorial Day The last Monday in May Honors all Americans who gave their lives for their country; A day of general tribute to the dead.

Veterans Day

November 11 A solemn occasion honoring men and women who have served in the military.

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Flag Day June 14

The birthday of the American Flag; Nicknamed the stars and stripes; The national anthem is The StarSpangled Banner. Independence Day July 4 The most important patriotic holiday, celebrates the birth of a nation; On the 4th of July 1776 the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

15. Holidays and Celebrations


Valentines Day February 14 St. Valentine was a thirdcentury Christian martyr who, before being beheaded in Rome, restored the eyesight of his jailers blind daughter.

St. Patricks Day

March 17 Celebrated in honor of Irelands patron saint who brought Christianity to a pagan nation; St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover, which they call the shamrock, to explain the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).

15. Holidays and Celebrations


April Fools Day April 1

The fun is to play silly harmless jokes on family members, coworkers, and friends.

Mothers Day

The Second Sunday in May Mothers receive cards and gifts from their husbands and children.

Fathers Day

The third Sunday in June Customs are similar to Mothers Day.

Selected Bibliography

Falk, Randee. Spotlight on the USA. Oxford: OUP, 1993. Fiedler, Eckhard, Reimer Jansen and Mil Norman-Risch. America in Close-Up. Harlow: Longman, 1998. Friedman, Michael J. Outline of the US Legal System. Online. Internet. 27.02.2006. Infoplease. Profiles of the 50 Largest Cities of the United States. Online. Internet. 27.02.2006. Kearney, Edward N., Mary Ann Kearney and Jo Ann Crandall. The American Way: An Introduction to American Culture. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1984. Tiersky, Ethel and Martin Tiersky. The USA: Customs and Institutions. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1990. Trudgill, Peter. Coping with America. Blackwell, 1985. US Census Bureau. Online. Internet. 22.12.2005.