Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the role politics plays in determining how power and resources are distributed in a society.
  • Compare different economic and political systems in terms of how power is distributed between citizens and government.
  • Explain the historical origins of American democracy.
  • Describe the enduring tension in the United States between self-interested human nature and public spirited government
  • Apply the five steps of critical thinking to this book's themes of power and citizenship in American politics.