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  Chapter Eleven:

  Government Spending
  Government Employees
  Federal Entitlements
  Federal Judiciary
  Military Personnel
  Blacks in the Military
  Women in the Military
  War Deaths
  Patriotic Attitudes



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Patriotic Attitudes

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Patriotic attitudes of Middletown adolescents declined between 1924 and 1999, especially among females.
The charts show male and female responses to four items from the 1924 Middletown High School Survey. The statements were repeated in the 1977 and 1999 replications of that survey. 

Students were asked to agree or disagree with the following statements: 

“The United States is unquestionably the best country in the world.” 

“The United States was entirely right and England was entirely wrong in the American Revolution.” 

“A pacifist or a conscientious objector in wartime is a ‘slacker’ who doesn’t do his share and should be prosecuted by the government.” 

“Every good citizen should act according to the following statement: ‘My country— right or wrong!’” 

In 1924, more than nine of ten students agreed that the United States was the best country in the world; in 1977, more than seven of ten agreed; and in 1999, about six of ten. The proportions favoring the slogan “My country—right or wrong” declined in each survey, as did the percentage in favor of prosecuting conscientious objectors in wartime. The overall trend in responses to the statement about the American Revolution was inconclusive. 

The differences in the responses of male and female students changed markedly over time. In 1924, girls were more strongly patriotic than boys on all four items. In 1977, boys were more patriotic than girls, and by 1999 the difference between them had widened further. In 1999, for example, only 51 percent of girls, compared with 68 percent of boys, agreed that the United States was the best country in the world. The most extreme change in the difference between male and female attitudes concerned the statement about the American Revolution. In 1924, the proportion of girls who believed the United States was entirely right in that conflict was 10 percentage points higher than that of boys; in 1999, it was 17 percentage points lower.

Chapter 11 chart 10

Source Notes
Source Abbreviations

Middletown IV, High School Survey, items 513, 514, 517, and 519.


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