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Tutt Library Research Guides


Political Science: American Politics

library and other key resources in this discipline

What is this?

The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President (both the head of state and government), Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.

American ideology

Republicanism, along with a form of classical liberalism remains the dominant ideology. Core tenets of this ideology:

  • Civic duty (understand the government, participate in elections, pay taxes, and perform military service)
  • Opposition to political corruption
  • Democracy (government is answerable to citizenry)
  • Equality before the law (laws should attach no special privilege to any citizen including officials)
  • Freedom of religion (government neither supports nor suppresses religion)
  • Freedom of speech (government cannot restrict through law or action personal, non-violent speech)

Central documents include:

  • Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • Constitution (1787)
  • Federalist Papers (1788)
  • Bill of Rights (1791)
  • Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" (1863)

See images of America's Historical Documents  from a collection of such documents at the National Archives.

Best Bets for Databases

Important documents

Political Parties

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