Date of Award

5-13-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Wedeman

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Hankla

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Evans

Abstract

The extension of political rights to corporations through Supreme Court decisions has altered the makeup of the plutocratic class in the United States. I argue that classifying campaign finance as a first amendment right afforded to corporate entities gave political power to corporate managers and shifted American political ideology in turn. This shift is reflected in government policies that prioritize the interests of the plutocratic class, resulting in a feedback loop that amplifies their wealth and power. This analysis will review the Supreme Court decisions that caused this, the subsequent polices, and how both contribute to the political power of corporate managers and owners. I will conclude by considering how this influenced the current political situation in the United States.

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