Broken Contract? Changing Relationships between Americans and Their Government

By Stephen C. Craig | Go to book overview

2
Looking at Leviathan: Dimensions of
Opinion About Big Government

LINDA L.M. BENNETT
STEPHEN EARL BENNETT

Many Americans today are confused when the word leviathan is used in connection with government. Dictionaries state that it refers to something of "enormous size and power" that harks back to the "sea monster" described in the Bible. Only people who are familiar with the philosophical tome Leviathan, originally published in 1651 by Englishman Thomas Hobbes ( 1991), are likely to connect the term to notions of centralized governmental power. Yet this is the basis for our chapter's title. Its theme is straightforward: The central government in the United States has grown tremendously, and citizens are still "coming to terms" with that growth (also see Bennett and Bennett 1990).

What do Americans think about government? What do they believe government should do or not do? These are fundamental questions that tap the roots of American political culture. How a democratic society is oriented toward its national government guides the legitimate range of that government's activities. Ultimately, those activities can determine how democratic the society will remain. We believe that as our national government has grown in the complexity of its organization, the number of people it employs, the range of responsibilities it has absorbed, the breadth of activities it seeks to regulate, and the revenues it extracts from taxpayers to spend for a broad panoply of programs, there has been an accompanying shift in American attitudes toward government. Even though politicians still draw appreciative applause by assailing "wasteful spending," "dishonest politicians," and "intrusive regulations," there is growing acceptance of government's many roles in everyday life. People's orientations toward government are multidimensional and reflect more than simply an abhorrence of "bigness." Furthermore, a significant part of the change in political culture is evident in the varying orientations toward government held by individuals of different age groupings (or cohorts), beginning with those who were young adults during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and ending with today's young adults, some-

-23-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Broken Contract? Changing Relationships between Americans and Their Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 336

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.