American Politics describes the politics of America since before Liberalism, Enlightenment, and Revolution and to today. The articles below explore the most important aspects of American politics as fun facts and myths.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has yet to be ratified despite being introduced in 1923 and passed by Congress on March 22, 1972. In order to become a constitutional amendment only one more state needs to ratify the ERA.
Most people know to vote for President every four years in the US. However, there is a lot more to vote on than that each year. In every state there are federal elections every two years. In some states there are also local off-year elections. Plus there are primaries before the actual elections that decide who gets on the ballot. Plus there are special elections sometimes when there are vacant seats!
President Trump has claimed that Democrats are responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border. However, this is mostly false, as existing laws were passed by both parties, weren’t commonly enforced to their full extent in the past, and don’t actually require families to be separated. In short, there is no law that requires families to be separated, and it was Trump’s administration who enacted the current “zero tolerance” policy.
Despite the Red-State Blue-State split of the two-party system (between city and rural regions), America is rather purple politically speaking (meaning all regions have a mix of voters from both parties).
The KKK and slavery both have their roots in the Democratic party. However, the southern bloc conservatives (“the solid south”) have increasingly favored the Republican party over time. Thus, today the faction who once supported the KKK and slavery now mostly supports the Republican Party.
Generally speaking, a modest increase to the minimum wage will increase household spending and thus stimulate the economy. However, this can be offset by job loss or hour reduction, inflation, and other factors.
Hitler was a National Socialist (NAZI). National Socialism is a type of fascism. Although National Socialism had some socialist and left-wing planks, it is a unique authoritarian, militant, and nationalist ideology separate from socialism or liberalism that is generally considered “far-right.”
Between the 1940s and the 1970s pinball used to illegal in parts of the United States. It was thought of as a gambling “game of chance” and was caught up in the post-prohibition push-back against gambling.
William Jennings Bryan can be considered the father of modern American left-wing and right-wing populism, including progressivism, the religious right, workers’ movements like the free-silver movement, the income tax, direct elections of Senators, and more.
Some speculate that John Lennon’s status as a vocal anti-war rock icon caused Nixon to push for his deportation… which ironically resulted in a legal case that inspired President Obama’s 2012 immigration policy DACA.
Despite two parties dominating politics due to a majority being needed to win elections, the United States doesn’t officially have a two-party system. Parties aren’t even mentioned in the Constitution.
Stability isn’t necessarily destabilizing, but as Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis eludes: longterm stability breeds instability and diminishes resilience in economic markets, mainly due to psychological factors.
Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. Lincoln, a former Whig (and then “moderate” “anti-slavery” Republican), favored social justice and federal power over states’ rights regarding slavery.
The United States is both a Republic and a Democracy. Specifically, the United States is a Constitutional FederalRepublic with a strong Democratic tradition and many democratic elements especially on a local level. Despite the democratic elements and traditions, the U.S. is not however a “Direct Democracy” (where people vote on laws directly*).
Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, can be considered the father of public relations and propaganda. Bernays literally wrote the book on propaganda, public relations, and manipulating public opinion.
All nations have some sort of class system or class structure, generally based on wealth, birth, or status. We explain modern and historic social class systems and the general logic behind them to see to what extent they are natural and what extent they are convention.
Notable political factions, politicians, and platform planks switched between the major U.S. political parties throughout U.S. history leading to a number of complex changes. Here are some different ways to look at “the party switches” and different “party systems” the changes resulted in.
The article below is written as advice to potential “faithless electors” thinking about how to vote in 2016, but doubles as a lesson in civics regarding the powers and responsibilities of the U.S. Electoral College.
“Civil Religion” is the civic “religion” of a nation. It doesn’t describe the theological religion of a nation, but rather a quasi-religious shared identity built around national symbolism and customs.
Separation of Powers describes the way in which government is divided into different branches (ex. in the U.S., the legislative, executive, and judicial). Checks and balances describe the powers each branch has to “check” the other branches and ensure a balance of power.
We explain and list the types of governments. We cover the basic classical forms of government, the many types of governments that can be derived from the classical forms, and the actual forms of governments in practice.
We explain two types of special interests: cronyism (politicians working with corporate interests) and monopolies / oligopolies (the consolidating of corporate power in a given industry to one or few entities).
The Federalists and Anti-Federalists were the first political factions of the U.S.. They arose out of a debate over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution and went on to form the basis of our current two-party system.
The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.
The Constitution protects our Liberty, but the law has placed limits on this. Those limits are sometimes enforced with large legal fees. To what effect this promotes social justice, and to what effect this harms social justice by creating opposition is debated.
The left-right political spectrum is used to create a model that shows a spectrum of political positions. Traditionally there is a 2-axis spectrum of left and right, but there are also many widely adopted 4-axis model.
The Philosophy of Governments It can be very attractive to have a list of government types, but yet that list may teach a person very little. Here instead is a look at the philosophy behind the government types that create that list. For a simpler list and look, see our page on “the types of . . . read more
We explain and annotate a letter Abraham Lincoln sent to Joshua Speed which shows how Lincoln opposed the Know-Nothings and Slavery.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.