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Explain the differences between pressure groups and parties. (10 mark)
Point Evidence Significance
Aims. Parties are organisations of people who come together to form the government . Parties can play the very important and
o The Republicans currently control Congress, whereas the Democrats control the necessary role of forming the
executive. government, so uphold the principles of a
Pressure groups are an organisation of people who come together to influence the representative democracy .
government .…read more

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Explain why US political culture encourages pressure groups. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Institutional First Amendment ­ the right to freedom of speech, to peacefully assemble and to petition the Institutional factors are
factors. government. significant because they
o NAACP v Alabama (1958) ­ used the First Amendment to rule that Alabama telling the NAACP to give more constitutional
hand over a list of its members was unconstitutional. legitimacy to pressure
Access points ­ lots of ways for pressure groups to influence policy.…read more

Page 4

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Assess the reasons why people join pressure groups in the USA. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Membership The American Automobile Association has over 50 million Membership benefits are significant because they may cause
benefits. members, mainly due to it providing roadside assistance and other people to join the pressure group who won't actually
benefits for its members. contribute to or participate in its work, therefore the
The American Association of Retired Persons offers its members a pressure groups could effectively be wasting money.…read more

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Explain the differences between sectional/interest groups and promotional/cause groups in US politics. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Differences Sectional/interest groups aim to defend the specific interests of a section of The differences between whose interests the
between society, usually their members. two types of pressure groups aim to defend are
whose o Business groups (represent companies in a similar industry) ­ Alliance of significant because sectional/interest groups
interests they Automobile Manufacturers.…read more

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Explain the role and significance of singleissue pressure groups in the USA. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Definition. Singleissue pressure groups are groups whose role is to organise and campaign Singleissue pressure groups are significant
around one single political issue or interest rather than multiple causes or because they should be experts on their specific
interests.…read more

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Explain the role and significance of umbrella groups in the USA. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Definition. Umbrella groups are organisations representing many individual pressure
groups.
Umbrella The US Chamber of Commerce represents 300,000 businesses. Umbrella groups representing many interests is
groups are
The AFLCIO represents 56 unions and 12.5 million workers. significant because they claim that they have a greater
significant The National Retail Federation represents over 1.6 million U.S.…read more

Page 8

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Explain the differences between pressure groups and social movements. (10 mark)
Point Evidence Significance
Definition. Pressure groups are formal organisations of people who come together Many social movements often develop into pressure
to bring about particular aims. groups, which suggests that it is seen as more
Social movements are looser and less formal coalitions of people who beneficial and more successful to be a pressure
come together to bring about broader aims. group than a social movement.…read more

Page 9

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Consider the role and significance of political action committees (PACs) in the USA. (10 mark)
Point Evidence Significance
Definition. Political action committees are the financial wing of pressure PACs are significant because they allow pressure groups to
groups. have a large impact on the outcome of elections as the
They are the official way in which pressure groups donate to winners are often the candidates with the most money.
candidates' campaigns.…read more

Page 10

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Explain the role of lobbying in US pressure group activity. (10 marks)
Point Evidence Significance
Definition. Lobbying involves an attempt, usually by professional lobbyists, to influence political decisionmaking at Lobbying promotes a
all levels of American government. pluralist democracy in
Lobbying is protected by the First Amendment , which protects the right to freedom of speech, to which many different
peacefully assemble and to petition the government.…read more

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