Define the terms citizenship, politics and government, and give examples of how political solutions to public policy problems are generated through interactions of citizens and civil associations with their government.


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Focus Question: What is the meaning of citizenship, politics and government?


Picture shows Robert Looney, distrcit director from the United States' Citizendship and Immigration Services, Bangkok District Office, administering the oath of naturalization to 77 service members on Bagram Airfied, Afghanistan, 2005

What Does it Take to Become a U.S. Citizen? has background information on citizenship in the United States. There is also a link to a 100 question citizenship test.
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Could you pass a U.S. citizenship test? Sample Questions from US Citizenship test


Honorary Citizens of the United States

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Citizenship consists in sharing a political community, and enjoying the benefits and assuming the political responsibilities
that give effect to this experience of shared political community.
In citizenship law, the two most important legal tools traditionally used to determine citizenship are:
  1. Birthplace, or jus soli, the fact of being born in a territory over which the state maintains, has maintained, or wishes to extend its sovereignty.
  2. Bloodline, or jus sanguinis, citizenship as a result of the nationality of one parent or of other, more distant ancestors.
All nations use jus soli and jus sanguinis in defining attribution of citizenship at birth. However, two other tools are used in citizenship law, attributing citizenship after birth through naturalization:
  1. Marital status, in that marriage to a citizen of another country can lead to the acquisition of the spouse's citizenship.
  2. Past, present, or future residence within the country's past, present, future, or intended borders (including colonial borders); citizenship assessmentexternal image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.png
Citizenship as distinguished by:
a. Cultural Citizenship
b. Naturalization

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Rotating_globe-small.gifNative Americans did not gain citizenship until 1924. For more, see the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

Picture shows President Calvin Coolidge with four Osage Indians after Coolidge signed the bill granting full citizenship to Native Americans in 1924.

external image Red_apple.jpgClick here for Native American Citizenship Activities, 1900-1924






Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, but politics has been observed in other group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions.

Government is the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises its authority, controls and administers public policy, and directs and controls the actions of its members or subjects.

external image Red_apple.jpgAfrican Americans Face and Fight Obstacles to Voting













a. Source Citation: Weil, Patrick. "Citizenship: Naturalization." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Horowitz. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 339-341. 6 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Smith College. 7 Apr. 2009
<http://find.galegroup.com/gvrl/infomark.do? &contentSet=EBKS &type=retrieve &tabID=T001 &prodId=GVRL &docId=CX3424300117 &eisbn=0-684-31452-5 &source=gale &userGroupName=mlin_w_smithcol &version=1.0>.
b. Source Citation: "Citizenship." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Horowitz. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 335. 6 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Smith College. 7 Apr. 2009
<http://find.galegroup.com/gvrl/infomark.do? &contentSet=EBKS &type=retrieve &tabID=T001 &prodId=GVRL &docId=CX3424300114 &source=gale &userGroupName=mlin_w_smithcol &version=1.0>.