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  Home / Oberstufe  / Englisch LK / Landeskunde USA 

Skript Landeskunde USA Textversion
Inhalt: Textversion der Landeskunde-Mindmap
Lehrplan: Landeskunde USA
Kursart: 4-stündig

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main ideas


Declaration of Independence





human rights democracy

capitalism Since the Industrial Revolution, capitalism gradually spread from Europe, particularly from Britain, across global political and cultural frontiers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, capitalism provided the main, but not exclusive, means of industrialization throughout much of the world

American Revolutionary war explanation

After the decleration of independence 1776 the colonists defeated the British in 1783


politics Influence through the "country" party in English politics, which denounced the corruption surrounding the "court" party in London. This approach produced a political ideology called republicanism

Corruption was the greatest possible evil, and civic virtue required men to put civic goals ahead of their personal desires men had to volunteer to fight for their country

philosophy Montesquieu: System of balances the philosophy of John Locke: Idea of social contract Jean-Jaque Rousseau:


While there were many causes of the American Revolution, it was a series of specific events, or crises, that finally triggered the outbreak of war.

Patriot calls for an intercolonial conference were answered by the First Continental Congress which began meeting in Philadelphia and which soon became a de facto national government

The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place April 19, 1775, when the British sent a regiment to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord. It was the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War, and immediately the news aroused the 13 colonies to call out their militias and send troops to besiege Boston


On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published a political pamphlet entitled Common Sense arguing that the only solution to the problems with Britain was republicanism and independence from Great Britain.

~ Declaration of Independence

Treaty of Paris



Puritanism and Religion


John Calvin

basic idea

Puritanism values

work hard to become successfull special interest in the Old Testament


dissenters who wants to live their own religion

religion in the USA

seperation of state and religion US image is formed by religious belief and patriotism

new development

Protestant churches have declined Conservative churches have grown the electronic church gets more and more important


just 60% are members of a church religion is business and follows the law of competition Major faith are: Chtholicism, Protestantism and Judaism


believe in special destiniy think they are gods chosen people

based on Manifest Destiny


mission to expand frontierspirit

key themes

the virtue of the American people and their institutions

the mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of
the U.S.

the destiny under God to accomplish this work

The first theme is traced to American Puritanism.
A lot of people agreed to the belief that the US embodies new ideals of freedom and democracy

influences and consequences

~ Puritanism mission to bring peace and democracy to the world

American Dream

social idea of individualism or development of the own personality

The American Dream is the belief that in the United States of America, hard work can lead to a better life, usually through the earnings of money. These were values held by many early European settlers

American Nightmare excluded people

Indians blacks homless people


exploration of ressources constant competition fear to lose


dot com boom -> interest in the internet dream that all children can go to school and get an education to open up new spheres in space


pursuit of happiness

belief in equality, freedom, progress competition and hard work personal advancements

power and strengh military

power aircraft carrier nuclear power careless use of weapons (50% of all Americans own weapons) all the services are under the command of the president of the United States of America

explanation -organisation


pro good education and jobs

service sector white collar workers

global players and culture

IBM Disney Mc Donalds more or less stable currency stock trading large markets


leading technology

science genetic engineering biotechnology NASA computer

based on

better production methods growing population increasing infrastructure natural resources immigration mobility system of free enterprise Puritan values


increasing middle class and living standard attract investors creation of mills and mines

great gap between poor and rich


frontierspirit open up new land means new chances possibility of starting a new life

formed the American character

self- reliance individualism initiative enterprneurial spirit

new frontiers

space science (cloning)

American Old West

Homestead Act

American Dream from dishwasher to millionaire be successfull own money be the master of your own destiny


world leadership positive view dominant world power

~ economical power ~ military power

land of unlimited opportunities

attracts immigrants offer new chances

increases national autonomy

open up new markets enter other markets wants economical competition rather than military confrontation

preservation of peace

defense sysems treaties

participation in peacekeeping missions in worlds major trouble spots

decisive power in conflicts

First World War

Second World War

Cold War

foreign policy Americanisation

loss of other non- American culture

dominant American culture global players influence of advertisement

act against the international law

don't respect UN decisions (e.g. Iraq war)

export weapons in third world countries increase of conflicts

don't act according to their own values

no equality social services health system gap between poor and rich

no freedom introduction of a quota concerning immigration people have to assimilate

The war in Iraq was originally justified as part of the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Specifically, the Bush Administration argued that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda, and that his overthrow would lead to democratization in the Middle East, decreasing terrorism overall.

actuator of the war were the terroristic attacs onseptember 9/11

Approximately one month after the attacks, the United States led a broad coalition of international forces to invade Afghanistan in pursuit of al-Qaeda forces in order to topple the Taliban regime for harboring what it referred to as a terrorist organization

reject international help

e.g. Kathrina want to prevent their image

act according to their own interest

war because of oil (waste of oil) pollution of the environment

Kyoto Protocol

the USA wastes a lot of raw material and causes pollution but not takes part in the protocol

need no reasons for war

cowboy image dominance of power police the world

force others to free their trade

open markets stock trade

Bush act like a Terminator

no ideas how to solve domestic problems seems to be not really informed solution for problems is voiolence softs sepeation between church and policy

exaggerated self- image

religious conflicts cultural conflicts

innerpolitical problems employment

people have to work harder for less higher and fire mentality

high unemployment rate



automation Some of the likely costs of unemployment for society include increased poverty, crime, political instability, mental health problems, and diminished issue in economics.


negative trade balance: More Imports than exports dollar not stable anymore fear that Arabic states will trade oil in Euros

gap between poor and rich

millions of poor people high crime rate

high costs of health care

American Nightmare

no money no success

natural disasters

hurricans earthquakes tsunamis

war to distract from innerpolitical problems

crime and punishment background

there are 34 million serious crimes each year but just 3 millions are arrested (costs) over 50% of the people own weapons there is a higher crime rate than in other western states

National Rifle Association

right to own a gun based on the second Amendment

reasons for crime

low education alcohol or drug abuse social problems urbanisation


prevention better education youth should work in prison (experiences)

resocialisation find a job social integration

death penalty

pro without there would be more criminal delicts because criminals have nothing to loose high costs trials are paid by tax payers overcrowded cells and courts

con no second chance discrimination of blacks inhumane prevention instead of punishment


In most places that practice capital punishment today, the death penalty is reserved as punishment for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice.


immigration and integration history info

introduction of a quota today

mixed suburban communities interracial marrige accepted accepted in higher positions and sport racism declines

background models


the pizza - model combines the idea of assimilation and pluralism in one culture

salad bowl

reasons USA

USA has little difficulties to integrate the people America as dominant and attractive culture America as a culture of different ethnics find better jobs or payment flee from war, persecution or disease dream of a better future

problems immigrants own culture

religion habits language moral law live below poverty line high crime rate

growth of population -racial composition

explanation immigration

racial integration assimilation

Assimilation can have negative implications for national minorities or aboriginal cultures, in that after assimilation the distinctive features of the original culture will be minimized and may disappear altogether.


pro based on civil right equality of all people benefit through cultural exchange learn from the other cultures learn to respect others

con no social intergration no national unity no assimilation fragmentation of society creation of cultural ghettos

multiculturalist policies can be seen as opposing assimilation

race of the future


introduction of quotas are necessery to keep the economy and health care system stable quotas are against the American Dream and the imagination of unlimited opportunities

slavery Civil War

By 1864, long-term Union advantages in geography, manpower, industry, finance, political organization and transportation were overwhelming the Confederacy. In 1865, the Confederacy collapsed and the slaves were freed.

The main results of the war were the restoration and strengthening of the Union, and the end of slavery in the United States.

the 11 states that seceded from the Union and lost the war in 1865 were ruined. Reconstruction was just partly successful and there was an economically difference between the two parts of the nation for a long time.



racial segregation



Civil Right Movement Martin Luther King


seperate but equal

disadvantages today

key events

Brown v. Board of Education

despite of the governmental regulation racism is a social problem in the United States


Thirteenth Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment

Section 1: All person born naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction therof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside

Fifteenth Amendment

Emancipation Proclamation

Civil Rights Act

Voting Rights Act


welfare provides

assistance for the poor child welfare unemployment insurance medical care for old people

social security history

retirement benefit

The earliest age at which (reduced) benefits are payable is 62

private insurance is needed or an insurance paid by the employer explanation

15% of the American population lives below the poverty line

Social security Trust Fund

healthcare sytem


Medicare Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the United States government, covering people who are either age 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria.

health care costs in the United States are high but there are serious gaps in the public health care system

A lot of people are not able to afford a health insurance

no national health sceme comparable to EU standards


the native population originally came from Asia and was mistakenly called "Indians"

discovery of America

first discovered by the Vikings

by Columbus

first settlers

searched for raw material and ressources conquered land destroyed existing cultures settled down and found colonies were religious and political dissenters start to built farms, infrastructure and industry had democratic principles

~ Declaration of Independence ~ Civil War Twenties

the economy was ruined by the stock market crash 1929

New Deal

~ First World War ~ Second World War ~ Cold War

constitution democratic systemDecleration of Independance 27 amendments

A constitutional amendment is an alteration to the constitution of a nation or a state. In jurisdictions with 'rigid' or 'entrenched' constitutions amendments require a special procedure different from that used for enacting ordinary laws

Preamble of the constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

historical influence

Magna Carta

1787 the Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers and took effect 1789

seperate branches seperation of power

executive branch

head is the president power of veto head of the armed forces head of the state


Constitutional Powers

leader is the vice president A vice president is an officer in government or business who is next in rank below a president




constitutional powers

judical branch

head is the Chief Justice


basis: English Common Law division in state law and federal law interpretation through soupreme court

constitutional powers

forth branch

the press

independent executive agencies The federal executive is a very large bureaucracy, and due to civil service rules, most mid- and lowlevel employees do not change when a new person becomes President. High- level regulators are appointed by the president but they often sit for long fixed terms and enjoy independence from other policy makers.

Direct Democracy a sort of pure democracy, everybody takes part in

Political Parties



presidential elections are held every forth year


passes laws provides goods and services achieve financial and economic stability




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