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Critique on George W. Carey's: A Student's Guide to American Political Thought - Book Report/Review Example

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Book Review: A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought Word Count: 1009 (4 pages) I. Introduction No one can quite agree what constitutes American political theory.1 However, there is definitely a consensus among historians that much of what has defined American politics throughout the centuries include: the freedom of speech; the adoption of the Constitution; and the system of checks and balances…
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Critique on George W. Careys: A Students Guide to American Political Thought
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Download file to see previous pages II. The Freedom of Speech The establishment of the freedom of speech in the U.S. meant that it was free from Britain, and a sovereign nation unto itself above and beyond the sovereignty of any other nation on earth—which sought peace and religious freedom for all of its inhabitants. “[T]he First Amendment was not designed to erect…a wall, but…to prevent the establishment of a national religion…”2 The freedom of speech, in American political life, has been priceless. In the early days of the Revolution, it was Thomas Paine who said in his pamphlet Common Sense, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” So, as one can see, it was in the United States that this freedom of speech developed. Not only did the U.S. not want Britain to be its sovereign anymore, but the people were also willing to fight for what they believed in—which was to live in a land free of dictatorship, but a land which also allowed people to have responsibilities. It is with this freedom of speech that was established within the Constitution’s First Amendment, that American politics was brought into fruition with thinkers like John Locke and one of the first Presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. In fact, more about the Constitution is going to be discussed in this next section. III. The Adoption of the Constitution The adoption of the Constitution was one of the single greatest American political feats. It took Thomas Jefferson several rough drafts before it was finally completed, having sent out various versions to different people throughout the course of him having written it. Also, political coordination was at its very best—with every last “John Hancock” bearing witness to this great achievement in American politics. American political thought, Carey contends, focuses a great deal upon how the Constitution was developed and the ideas that went into formulation in order to produce such a document. Then, all things told, laws of the land began to take shape based on what had been drawn up by Jefferson. “[A]fter the adoption of the Constitution, American political thought concentrates to a great deal…” on various laws drawn up afterwards.3 Carey focuses a great deal upon trying to describe the wherewithal that went into producing the document of the Constitution, making this a primary theme within his book. Carey notes that, if it were not for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, there would have been no “U.S.A.”, there would have been no “Americans,” and there would have been no “America.” Basically he is saying that everything that the U.S. is comprised of would not have been American because there would have been no America—which is why it is still considered so wondrous that the Americans won their independence from the British. IV. The System of Checks and Balances In order to ensure that no one branch of government ever maintained more power than the other, the system of checks and balances was designed. This took into account for: an executive branch (the President); the judicial branch (the Supreme Court); and the legislative branch (the bicameral Congress consisting of the House and the Senate). Jefferson ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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