America's Democracy Essay

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America's Democracy

The United States of America is a republic, or representative democracy. Democracy, a word that comes to us from Greek, literally means the people rule (Romance, July 8). This broad definition leaves unanswered a few important details such as who are the people, how shall they rule, and what should they rule on (July 8). Defining the answers to those questions means defining a model for a democratic system. William E. Hudson defines four such models in his book American Democracy in Peril: the Protective, Developmental, Pluralist, and Participatory models of democracy (Hudson, 8-19). Of these models, perhaps Participatory comes closest to an ideal, pure democracy of rule by the people (16-19). In practice, however,
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These features are intended to safeguard against the possibility of an undemocratic tyranny of one group gaining a monopoly on political power. The circumstances and manner in which the country was founded have provided a democratic example for later generations to follow.

An aspect of its political culture that possibly highlights even better America’s democracy is the religions and faiths of its citizens. The freedom of religion guaranteed to all American citizens has allowed for an incredibly diverse and readily apparent faith-life throughout the country (Romance, July 8). Because there is no one, state-approved religion it is possible for each citizen to find and practice the faith that appeals most to them, giving that practice more meaning than if it were state mandated. The resulting strong religious beliefs of a large majority of the citizens is therefore a large factor in the political culture. American citizens hold very dear their democratically secured right to practice the religion of their choice, or even no religion at all.

Many of those who immigrated to the New World did so for religious reasons, others simply on the chance that life would be better there. The nature of these immigrant Americans would become perhaps the most defining aspect of the country’s
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