American Political Development


The changing times result in a change in public policy, which is the tool of the state for solving problems and issues arising during governance. New governments coming in equally result in the evolution of policy due to the shift in power and authority. The onset of the 20th century has resulted in more demand for even more complicated policies whose market has grown exponentially (Meyer 5). The modern American state is a perfect example of such a phenomenon whose adaptability has been tested. The vast expansion of the policy domain has resulted in the advancement of the government and its operation.

Accordingly, policies have created a need for the state to accommodate it further, and fallouts from it raise contemporary discussions of laws and rights. The American state policy has grown from being an instrument of the government to being analogous to the country’s administration as a whole, as Orren and Skowronek’s book describes and it is time to involve civil society in shaping controls and regulations.

Historical Detail and Context Considerations

The Policy Development Presents Difficulty in its Categorization

It poses challenges in grouping and as such, generalizations are rare, because of the diverse nature of individual policies. Moreover, the effects are wide-spreading, and the categorization of consequences becomes problematic. The measure of unity is assumed to follow from the constitution and over century-long-existing principles and is hence taken for granted. The process is equally complicated by the commonly referred “veto points,” which impede further adjustments (Meyer 41). As such, policy has become a highly enigmatic omnipresence that acts as the mainstream of the reformation of the state, although it is rarely addressed.

The attached name, policy state, also draws attention to the idea that what is present grew out of the problem-solving character of America (Tarrow 73). It has had a significant impact on law and politics which continually use it to further support their interests and solve governance problems.

The policy development’s Motivating Factor is the Desire for Political Order

The changes experienced, despite the different presidents and social movements, all share one crucial trait, which is the desire to create political order. It is especially evident in change organizations in a bid to address social challenge which is felt collectively. They involve people who are in political or cultural conflict with governments and impact the nation through strikes, rallies, boycotts, and petition drives (Meyer 11). From a historical analysis standpoint, the American Presidents and social movements are among the most significant powers in a revolution. The clashes between the two can be explosive and somewhat undesired. However, if the two work harmoniously, the discomfort from the unity can result in the most impactful transitions in American history towards a new political life.

It has been Influenced by Great Personalities and Events

The transition process encompasses various critical events and personalities that played a crucial role in the development of America today. For instance, there is Abraham Lincoln and the abolition movement, Reagan and the Christian movement, Lyndon Johnson, and the civil rights organization (Meyer 13). The collaborations were highly transformative and can best be understood by an examination of the analytical context. Additionally, an interpretation of the interactions between the executive and such movements over time is important in generating an informed perspective. The historical dynamics have worked to influence the relationship between the two longitudinally.

The Policies have Developed Due to their Overlapping Nature

Historically, the American government has always made policies whose implications overlap a broad range of affairs. The policy has expanded its role in the country by destroying the boundaries and distinctions which once blocked its capacity. It has shaped the developmental dynamics of the current political scene. There is a great reliance on the policy, which is consequential to all aspects of state authority, rendering them homogenous (Baldwin 17).

The collective modification of policy and improvement as a corrective mechanism to American problems has grown to a situation that can no longer remedy itself. It has created myriads of problems whose solutions may not arise from similar strategies. Ideally, it has not filled the existing voids in governance, and it has replaced authority (Novak 113). The most salient observation of the manifestation involves the influence on formal structures of decision-making and fundamental rights.

Non-institutional Actors Considerations

The Policy Development Serves the Needs of Interest Groups

Interest groups are important and influential participants in the political system of America. The right and freedom of every US citizen to petition the federal state is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the constitution. Presently, these organizations have grown in varied sizes and structures and lobby on almost every issue affecting the country, from gun laws to healthcare regulations (Singh 126). US citizens usually belong to at least one group, although the majority belong to several groups simultaneously. However, analysts disagree on the intent of these interest groups or the extent of their role in the government (Singh, 127).

It is notable, though, that some are more influential than others, and they facilitate the prioritization of corporate demands over those of the public (Singh, 127). The competition between the groups is an essential tool that contributes toward achieving the American dream of the democratic system.

The Policy Development has Grown such that it can only be Interpreted through Models

Several theoretical traditions can be used to assess the literature on American politics and the impact of interest groups. Some of the most dominant ones include majoritarian electoral democracy, economic elite domination, majoritarian pluralism, and biased pluralism. Thus, it results in four sets of actors, economic elites, business-oriented, average citizens, and mass-based interest groups (Gilens and Benjamin 564). The policy formation process is highly complicated and involves several factors, and therefore, the categorization may become somewhat problematic due to overlapping.

Consequently, it is more plausible to focus on the sources of the society which influence the theories than on the mechanisms of influence (Gilens and Benjamin 564). For instance, the majoritarian electoral democracy propositions act as a positive empirical framework that attributes the American federal policies as principally the collective will of the people. The ideology dates back to Tocqueville, who, during the Jacksonian period, perceived the American majority as the most powerful (Gilens and Benjamin 564). It was later emphasized by Abraham Lincoln, who saw democracy as a government of the people chosen by the people themselves to facilitate their interests (Gilens and Benjamin 564). A similar scenario is evident in the modern world where two candidates in a two-party system campaign during elections to view political seats, thereby expressing the will of Americans.

Conversely, economic elite domination offers a theoretical tradition that argues that the US policymakers are individuals with substantial financial resources. However, not all elites share this theory, although some focus on social statuses such as occupying critical managerial roles in corporations or the executive. Some elite propositions postulate classes of wealthy persons who have achieved unity through common backgrounds.

These individuals have combined economic resources, social status, and institutional positions to develop shared tastes due to their social interactions (Gilens and Benjamin 566). Part of the power is drawn from but not limited to wealth, and they are mostly people from the upper classes and top firm executives who directly impact policy-making. The role gives them the capacity to retain their influence and maintain their growth ability to control governance.

All the models are impactful, and each has a unique role that it plays in the development of American democracy. Each emphasizes a set of players who are perceived to be significantly influential in determining the policy outcomes of the US. Each tradition has grown to a large pragmatic literature promoting its effect on governance. However, much of the empirical evidence has mainly been bivariate until recently, when testing has been made possible.

The theories are contrasted in a quantitative and systematic format. One can measure the key independent variables by pitting the predictions of the propositions against each other in a statistical model and then drawing observations. From among the theories, the most striking failure is a majoritarian electoral democracy. It has a near-zero statistically insignificant effect on public policy (Gilens and Benjamin 566). It is viable to assume that the general majority of Americans enjoy minimal democratic rights since their voices are not influential enough. Nevertheless, US citizens enjoy several features of democratic governments, such as freedom of speech and association, widespread franchise, and regular election.

Policy Issues Consideration

The Policy Development has Resulted in Several Constitutional Amendments

The constitution guides the government and provides an account of the operation of the state authority. Constitutional theorists study it to make it work better either by reinvigorating old ones or formulating new standards. Historical analysis is used primarily to determine the baseline of the fidelity of the present book of law and its associated practices (Zacka 29). The study of the past provides guidelines on how, when, and why a given section can be changed and which ones are termed as lawful or not. The standard is set by public policy and state formation, which determines the status of statutes such as the amendment of Article (Zacka 29).

The modifications have had several triggers, which can be explained through the idea of a unitary executive by Christopher Yoo and Steven Calabresi, who documented the bipartisan consistency (Zacka 29). Their constitutional design interpretation is to elevate the presidency and its control over policy-making in the executive section.

Constitutional theory amalgamates elements normally kept separate alongside the fixtures that these theorists offer to fix the political life. These policy adjustments are temporal and aimed at solving all aspects of political life. Their mechanisms are sometimes confined by the desire to uphold constitutional principles, hence hindering their decision-making process of generating resolutions. The American policy state should essentially include alternative push and response clauses to respond appropriately to constitutional problems that arise continually (Tarrow 74). A notable improvement to this theory is the discipline of political science which has developed a new approach to the challenges arising. It analyzes the relationship between the present and the past uniquely and has demonstrated relatively higher consensus than constitutional theory.

There are several views when analyzing the credibility and applicability of the constitution in modern American society. For instance, one can assume that it is elitist since the founding fathers disagreed on my political decisions but shared a common status, most owned slaves. (Singh 39). The document was written through the state structures drawing from their economic position. During the establishment, women and blacks were excluded from American citizenship, although not directly mentioned. They were explicitly included in sections 1 and 2 as the three-fifths of all other persons to calculate state representation in congress and taxation (Singh 39).

Moreover, women were only granted the right to vote after the endorsement of the Nineteenth amendment in 1920 (Singh 40). Accordingly, it is viable to propose that the constitution was not adequately crafted from the onset, and with the changing times, has since fallen out of date. The technology-driven world and information availability in a real-time format and anytime make it even worse since people are enlightened.

However, the constitution has been beneficial in allowing for its democratization and transformation to a form the present generation can relate to. It has provided an avenue for various policy creation and developments by the different regimes in its system. It has proved its political utility, such as in how Blacks and women have used it to achieve civil equality. It is through the constitutional provisions that African Americans the desired social change while relatively maintaining the country’s peace and stability, unlike in other nations (Singh 41). Other debates raise concerns about the amendments and the court rulings that create modifications to the constitution, such as abortion and gun laws. The resulting social policies are numerous coupled with politicking, although there is no consensus on such issues.

The Presidency Considerations

Policy Development has been the Basis of Management of State Issues by Presidents

In the American government, the United States presidency is the most crucial position, although it was not intended by the founding fathers to play such a great role. The importance is both felt in domestic and world affairs due to the enormous global influence that is associated with America (Singh 128). Presidential powers have not changed much since 1787; however, in the informal context, the president has a large resource that cumulatively grows the strength and capacity (Singh 128).

For instance, the position depends highly on the power to persuade. If the president has an extensive influence, then with the entire bureaucracy at their disposal, they can do more than those in the early American years (Singh 128). However, the persuasive nature is equally a disadvantage since the successive president will have difficulties convincing the opposing party members to follow his lead. Nevertheless, the position offers substantive legitimacy and prestige, which has remained essential to the country, especially regarding national security.

The presidency remains primarily a pivotal figure, although the actual influence is mainly felt during elections. There are few exceptions, such as the case of a powerful presidential image such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln (Singh 128). Other anomalies include war times or during economic depressions. However, even during such times, the active role is played by congress, which approves the presidential decisions either passively or actively.

It is a system that is in co-governance and shares powers with other branches of the state alongside local governments (Paletz et al. 23). However, the president remains the country’s principal political face, which was demonstrated by George Washington Bush, whose response to the 9/11 attack showed the sole power in the presidency towards leading the United States in national security and economic prosperity (Singh 128).

Civil Society

The Policy Development has Created a Gap for the Civil Society to Fill

Civil society involves a wide range of groups such as non-governmental organizations, community organizations, labor, indigenous, professional groups, congress, courts, and foundations. It requires unifying the efforts of each of its members for a national effect on governance. Ideally, the constitutional adjustments to the policy have grown too vast to solve the present challenges. It requires another mechanism to maintain stability within the system of leadership (Mines 34).

The gap can be filled by civil societies that can influence the state’s decisions and regulations on various affairs. They are a unique source of information for the citizens and the state. Moreover, they have the capacity and resources to hold the government accountable for its actions and choices; hence are efficient for monitoring the executive. Additionally, they can defend the rights of citizens and help uphold social norms apart from offering alternative policies for the government. Moreover, other authorities outside the civil society can equally play a significant role, especially those that shape behavior.


Civil society has an important task to play in the present state policy, which can no longer be adjusted to solve current problems. As such, policy has acquired immense power, which requires regulation and control before it becomes too huge to be managed. Civil societies are building blocks of development whose impact can help shape America’s course toward the ideal democracy that is the basis of its constitution. The policy has undergone transitions through various governments and presidents who have continually utilized constitutional theorists to fix the challenges during their leadership periods. The presidency itself has equally evolved in its powers and limitations, most of which can be stabilized by outside players, and civil societies.

Works Cited

Baldwin, Peter. “Beyond Weak and Strong: Rethinking the State in Comparative Policy History.Journal of Policy History, vol. 17, no. 1, 2005, pp. 12-33. Web.

Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.Perspectives on Politics, vol. 12, no. 3, 2014, pp. 564-581. Web.

Meyer, David S. “Rivalry and Reform: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics”, Perspectives on Politics, edited by Sidney M. Milkis and Daniel J. Tichenor, University of Chicago Press, 2019, pp. 1187-1188.

Mines, Keith W. Why Nation-Building Matters: Political Consolidation, Building Security Forces, and Economic Development in Failed and Fragile States. University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

Novak, William. “The Myth of the ‘Weak’ American State,” American Historical Review, vol. 113, no. 3, 2008, pp. 752-772. Web.

Orren, Karen, and Skowronek Stephen. The Policy State: An American Predicament. Harvard University Press, 2019.

Paletz, David L., et al. Timothy American Government and Politics in the Information Age. FlatWorld, 2017.

Singh, Robert. American Government and Politics: A Concise Introduction. Sage Publications, 2003.

Tarrow, Sidney. “Rivalry and Reform: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics,” vol. 49, no. 1, 2020, pp. 71-75. Web.

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