Government and Politics - The Original Constitution Did Not Have Many Democratic Traits

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Government and Politics - The Original Constitution Did Not Have Many Democratic Traits

In two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, Americans fought and died so that democracy would prevail around the world. In the minds of many Americans, America is the bastion of democracy. But how democratic is America? Today’s America was “born” with the signing of the constitution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, it was determined how democratic America would be. And every American should ask himself how democratic America was made at that constitutional convention in Philadelphia.

Before pondering the extent of democracy one must determine what the term “democracy” means. Democracy is a “means of selecting
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According to Hofstadter, the framers did not want a democracy; to them, a democracy would destroy the liberty that they had fought for.v[v] However, one must bear in mind that the framers ideas of what liberty differed from today’s idea of liberty. To them, liberty was the right to have property and the right to a stable[vi] So, a direct democracy could take away their liberties. A direct democracy would give votes to all citizens and they could in turn vote to divide all property equally among the citizens.vii[vii] The framers were the upper class and this was in their mind as they wrote the law of the land; they only wanted propertied men like themselves voting in election to protect their own property.viii[viii] Madison himself said that democracy was evil in Federalist Number10.ix[ix] Roger Sherman, another framer, also added that people “should have as little to do as may be with the government.”x[x] With these ideas of democracy, the framers were not inclined to provide democracy in the constitution.

Actually, when considering the traditional theory, the constitution is far from democratic. The aspect of one-person equals one vote isn’t completely provided for in the constitution. The senate members are chosen by their state legislatures and electors elect the president.xi[xi] So, the people are voting for the president indirectly. While this is
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