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The US political system is designed to ensure that freedom and opportunity will always be protected, by making it almost impossible for power to become concentrated in the hands of a few people seeking to run society for their own benefit. Have these aims been achieved? The answer is that Americans have sharply contrasting views on how well their political system works. They disagreed with each other when they established the system at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and have continued to disagree ever since. This book covers the key issues, political systems and governing institutions at the heart of these disagreements, outlining the thinking behind the main points of view, to help its readers decide for themselves which viewpoint they find most persuasive. This new edition of the best-selling introduction to US Government and Politics has been completely revised and updated to reflect the changes in the area since the election of the new President. Key Features *Presents a readable, accessible but academically stimulating introduction to the government and politics of the USA *Evaluates the US political system through the topics of: the Constitution; Race; the Supreme Court; Federalism; Elections; Political Parties; Pressure Groups; Congress; The Presidency
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Table of Contents

List of Boxes; List of Tables; Introduction; Part 1: The Framework of US Politics: 1 The Constitution - History and Key Features; Historical Background; The Constitutional Convention; Ratifying the Constitution; Key Features of the Constitution; Perspectives on the Constitution; 2 Federalism - Evaluating a key feature of the Constitution; The States at Independence from Britain; The Constitutional Convention: Debating Federalism; The Development of Federalism; Federalism in the Twenty-First Century; 3 Race & US Politics - Freedom and Opportunity for all?; The Constitution and Race; The Extent of Racial Inequality in the Twenty-First Century; The Causes of Racial Inequality; The Rise of Affirmative Action; Limitations on Affirmative Action; The Debate on Affirmative Action; Part 2: The Limits on Federal Power - Pluralism: 4 Elections; Historical Background; The Evolution of Democracy; The Electoral System at State and Local Level; The Electoral System: Congressional Elections; The Electoral Process: The Presidency; Concerns about the Electoral System: Campaign Finance; Concerns about the Electoral System: Incumbency Advantage; Concerns about the Electoral System: Voter Participation; Perspectives on the Electoral System; 5 Political Parties; The Role of Political Parties; The Development of the Main Political Parties; The Modern Republican Party; The Modern Democratic Party; Party Supporters; Minor Parties; Polarisation; 6 Pressure Groups; Pressure Groups and the Constitution; The Aims and Objectives of Pressure Groups; Access Points: Why, and How, They are Exploited; Assessing the Impact of Pressure Groups; Part 3: Testing the Limits of Federal Power - The Judiciary, The Legislature and The Executive: 7 The Supreme Court; The Role of the Judiciary; The Constitution and the Judiciary; Judicial Review; The Political Character of Judicial Review; Judicial Philosophies; Judicial Appointments; The Roberts Court (from 2005 to 2009); 8 Congress; Congress and the Constitution; Congress and the Presidency; Congress and the Judiciary; Legislating; Legislation Case Study: The 2005 Transport Equity Act; Representation: Promoting the Interests of Constituents; Importance of Political Parties in Congress; Evaluating Congress; 9m The Presidency - Domestic Affairs; The Presidency and the Constitution; The President as Head of Government; The President as Chief Legislator; The President ad Head of State; The President as Party Leader; The Vice President; 10 The Presidency - Foreign Affairs; The Constitution and Foreign Policy; The Instruments of Foreign Policy; The Goals of Foreign Policy; Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century; The Impact of Foreign Policy on Domestic Affairs; Evaluating the Powers f the President; Index 2 Federalism - Evaluating a key feature of the Constitution The States at Independence from Britain The Constitutional Convention: Debating Federalism The Development of Federalism Federalism in the Twenty-First Century 3 Race & US Politics - Freedom and Opportunity for all? The Constitution and Race The Extent of Racial Inequality in the Twenty-First Century The Causes of Racial Inequality The Rise of Affirmative Action Limitations on Affirmative Action The Debate on Affirmative Action Part 2: The Limits on Federal Power - Pluralism 4 Elections Historical Background The Evolution of Democracy The Electoral System at State and Local Level The Electoral System: Congressional Elections The Electoral Process: The Presidency Concerns about the Electoral System: Campaign Finance Concerns about the Electoral System: Incumbency Advantage Concerns about the Electoral System: Voter Participation Perspectives on the Electoral System 5 Political Parties The Role of Political Parties The Development of the Main Political Parties The Modern Republican Party The Modern Democratic Party Party Supporters Minor Parties Polarisation 6 Pressure Groups Pressure Groups and the Constitution The Aims and Objectives of Pressure Groups Access Points: Why, and How, They are Exploited Assessing the Impact of Pressure Groups Part 3: Testing the Limits of Federal Power - The Judiciary, The Legislature and The Executive 7 The Supreme Court The Role of the Judiciary The Constitution and the Judiciary Judicial Review The Political Character of Judicial Review Judicial Philosophies Judicial Appointments The Roberts Court (from 2005 to 2009) 8 Congress Congress and the Constitution Congress and the Presidency Congress and the Judiciary Legislating Legislation Case Study: The 2005 Transport Equity Act Representation: Promoting the Interests of Constituents Importance of Political Parties in Congress Evaluating Congress 9 The Presidency - Domestic Affairs The Presidency and the Constitution The President as Head of Government The President as Chief Legislator The President ad Head of State The President as Party Leader The Vice President 10 The Presidency - Foreign Affairs The Constitution and Foreign Policy The Instruments of Foreign Policy The Goals of Foreign Policy Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century The Impact of Foreign Policy on Domestic Affairs Evaluating the Powers f the President Index

About the Author

William Storey has been Principal Examiner for A2 US Government and Politics (Edexcel) for several years and, more recently, became Principal Examiner for A2 Key Issues in UK Politics (Edexcel). He provides consultancy to schools and colleges on teaching strategies and leads intensive revision courses. He is has written two revision guides on US Government & Politics and is a regular contributor to Politics Review, all published by Philip Allan.

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