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Our Democratic Federalist Capitalistic Republic    
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Political Systems Are About Power
power controlled by the people

Commonwealth community founded for the common good

Oligarchy power effectively with a few people.

a. Northwestern study concludes US is an Oligarchy
b. German oligarchs financed Hitler.

Polyarchy has decentralized rule with many small governments tailored to the desires of the local populations.

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism
considered by some to be right-wing as its social conservatism
and  authoritarianism are opposite of egalitarianism.

Totalitarianism holds total authority over society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life.

Libertarianism wants to limit government power.

Dictatorship has rule by a person.

Federation is composed of states with a common purpose.
Print in landscape mode.


Characteristics of Our Democratic Federalist Republic
Political Systems involve governments and politics.

Republic government exists when a constitutionally determined government
of elected leaders operating according to laws which protect individual rights
associated with equality, liberty, property and necessity of consent.

a. There are many applications. What constitutes a right and
     their relative importance has been continually debatable.
b. John Adams said "a government, in which all men, rich and
    poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters
    and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally
    subject to the laws."
c. In United States v. Cruikshank (1875) the Supreme Court
    ruled that the concept of "equal citizens" was inherent to
d. Colonial America developed in an untamed vast wilderness
    far from the governing country. This unique historical
    circumstance resulted in American Exceptionalism.

Federalism divides powers among member units so that
political control is constitutionally decentralized.
Each unit has some final authority and self- government.

a. US Federalism divides power with federal/state Dual Federalism.
Great Depression hardships led some toward the expanded federal power
    of Cooperative Federalism.
b. Federalism Video 1.38 is conservative.
c. Political Revolution of 1800 replaced the strong federal government Federalist Party
    of Washington, Hamilton and Adams with a less powerful Jeffersonian Democracy.

Democracy exists when government power resides in a constitutionally determined electorate having equal say in determining the majority will.

Majority Factions aim for absolute and unlimited political power.
Success is often determines by controlling .
The constitution protects minority rights.


The Federalist Papers 13:28 Basics Video,

Liberalism, Constitutionalism and Democracy.

Source: Abbreviated from
Economics 3 Basic Characteristics of Capitalism

Building America's Democratic Federalist Republic 3p

Jeffersonian Republicanism a limited government approach of


Kinds of Democracy

Democracy begins with
Majority Rule

Presidential Democracy has a president and the legislative body.
Their functions are separated with checks and balances designed to limit power.
 A 7.04 video by Noam Chomsky entitled
American Politics: Are we a Democracy? a Republic, a Polyarchy?
explores his view of politics today and those our founders envisioned.

See Current Political Economy Controversies.

Parliamentary Democracy as practiced in Great Brittan has an executive branch that derives its legitimacy from and is held accountable to a legislature (parliament). The executive and legislative branches are thus interconnected. A head of government called a prime minister is appointed from the majority party or from a coalition of minority parties. A Head of State is normally a different person with varying degrees of political responsibility. In England the Queen only has ceremonial responsibilities.

Democratic Republic vs. Parliamentary Democracy written by President Wilson favored a parliamentary system. This would have made many founding fathers unhappy as they feared the budget instability and anarchy of the French Revolution.


Making Laws in a Democracy
Direct Democracy also known as pure democracy has the
electorate vote directly on policy initiatives.
Indirect democracy or representative democracy is when the electorate temporary delegates power to officials who make laws on their behalf.
Initiatives and Referendums exist in some U.S. States.
a. Part of the early 20th century Progressive Movement
b. Allowed voters to put a proposed law on the ballot for
    approval and also to void existing state law. 
c. DC and 27 states have this direct democracy tool.
Constitutional Amendments expanded "We" of
"We the people..." which moved U.S toward Republicanism.
a. The 1911 17th Amendment changed the election of U.S.
    Senators from the House of Representatives to voters.
b. The 1919 19th Amendment gave women voting rights.
c. The 1971 26th Amendment lowered voting age to 18.
d. Eliminating the Electoral College would move the process
    closer to the people, Republicanism and a direct democracy
Democracy and Virtue, Why Founders Wanted Electoral College, The Founder's Constitution extensive reading list


Political Economy Summaries from Quick Notes
2016 Presidential Election Issues 1p each
Current Political Economy Problems 7p
Brief U.S. Political History
Political Eras & Their Important Events 2p
Presidential Politics
Political Eras & Their Elections 1788 - 2012
Capitalistic Democracy
Run Government at a Profit 1p
Recent Decades Ranked by Problems 2p
Great Recession 1p or 3 p
Severe Recessions 2p 
History of U.S. Banking 1p
U.S. Economic Normality 1945-2015 page 2
5 Decades of Problems
 under construction, needs help, Interested?

Go to Capitalism 1p
See Quick Notes History   One-Page Class Handouts

More Readings and Videos at
Political Economy Readings
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