The Founders built certain protections for individual rights into this country's founding documents. The United States Constitution was one such document. In particular, such protections guard Americans who hold minority viewpoints from those who side with the majority. For example, the First Amendment protects the right of free speech to ensure that people who hold unpopular views have just as much freedom to express those views as do people who tend to agree with the majority. The United States Constitution, therefore, was intended to protect the individual rights of Americans from a tyrannical government and majority. However, today, the Electoral College does not represent the vibrant democracy into which the United States has grown.
This is a thoroughly incorrect assumption to make. Madison makes a point of highlighting two ways in which a pure democracy differs from a republic. The power to rule in a republic is delegated to a small number of citizens elected by the people, whereas a democracy delegates the power to rule directly to the people. As it is “the people” who compose factions, this creates a greater susceptibility to the invasion of factious sentiment. An intermediary is necessary in order to halt the progress of poisonous factious effects. A republic provides for this intermediary in the form of electors, elected by the people.
American politics has proved to be flawed in structure over, and over again. Although our founding fathers had the best intentions when they implemented democracy, they like most modern day politicians, failed to actually make things better. Yes we gained our Independence, but with the ability to make our own choices we tend to make childish and impulsive decisions. The election of Donald Trump stands to be the most recent of those mistakes, and the politicians who work for him are either blinded or full of regret. Poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Robert Lowell paint vivid pictures of these very mistakes that seem to recur with the thought of democracy.
Since the ratification of the Constitution, more than 11,000 amendments have been proposed. The Constitution of the United States of America was Officially ratified in 1789. This makes the document over two-hundred years old. Since the time of its writing and eventual ratification, the document has been amended and interpreted in many ways. Whether it be prohibition to the abolition of slavery. The Constitution has been constantly updated over time. It has not laid stagnant with the time. The Constitution has remained the document off of which we have based our country for many years. A major question that has been posed is, why do we as a country still feel bound to this document written so many years ago? The reasons are fairly simple. The Constitution of the United States can and has been over many years amended, the laws and thoughts of a people can be expressed through the Constitution, and the constitution has functioned, with a few bumps in the road, fairly well over the last two-hundred years. The people of the United States should still stand behind this Constitution because it infact still serves us well today in many ways. A few being that it can be amended and “Fixed”, and another being that it does still protect our rights as citizens.
This was his main argument. Dahl addressed an overview of not only what he believes but also what he further went into detail in throughout the book. He focused on the shortcomings of the framers and how they had to make this document for America when they didn’t know the full potential of America would be. He also stated, “[f]athers (including the Framers) intended to create a republic, not a democracy… citizens would simply not tolerate such a government. A second immovable limit was the existence of the thirteen states, with still more states to come.”(Dahl 5). It was intended to be republic, which is why our democratic society has issues with it today because some citizens feel as though they are not being represented the way they should. He also goes on further to say as. This quote made a substantial affect because it makes reminds the reader that it was constructed for on 13 states. The United States now has almost 4 times as many states as it did back then ranging from coast to coast. He also goes on to say, “[wise as the framers were, they were] necessarily limited by their profound ignorance”(Dahl 7). Which does not necessarily mean they were intelligent but they were limited to constructing a document that would serve people now and in the future. Which is probably why the constitution is arguably very vague so that even though it may not include exact rights concerning at situation all inexplicit rights are still protected.
When writing the Constitution, one of the most prominent arguments focused on whether America should be considered a Democracy. A large percentage of the founding fathers feared the term “Democracy” because they strongly believed that if the people had control, then there would be disorder and violence. As James Madison stated in Federalist No. 10,
There is no doubt that the United States of America is a democracy, but how democratic are some of the components of our system of government? For example, the Electoral College is used when selecting the president of The United States, but the founders developed the Electoral College based on a theory of how it should work with no practical, real-world example of how it realistically works. Based on the three core principles of democracy which are popular sovereignty, political equality, and political freedom, the Electoral College falls short when assessed using these democratic values.
When describing democracy, it can be related to ideals that empower the people, such as: fairness, representation, equality, opportunity, and freedom. In the early 1800’s, these democratic ideals began to transform American culture and politics as they seemed to suffuse every aspect of society. By the 1820’s and 1830’s, America even attracted the interest of many foreigners who were impressed by the democratic character of life. They were surprised by the equality of conditions and saw American society as far more egalitarian than any society in Europe (Keene, 228). This new wave of democracy also thrived through politics and by 1828, almost every single state chose their presidential elector by letting
The ideas behind the progression of the United States Government is tricky to understand. The Framers’ ideas can be debatable in telling what they actually meant. The Constitution, the key document that is the base of our country, have ideas of what the Framers thought would be the formation of a well governed country. They were influenced by Greek “democratic” governments and they thought it would be beneficial to apply it to their new country. However, was the Framers’ intention to make the United States a democratic country? The United States has too many people to make it truly democratic. In fact back then, the Framers were only familiar to themselves. I believe they were thinking of the elite white slave-owners and only considered them
Democracy, as defined in American Government: Power and Purpose, is “a system of rule that permits citizens to play a significant part in the governmental process, usually through the selection of key public officials.” In the centuries before and since its founding, the United States has indubitably had undemocratic elements. In colonial times, the thirteen colonies’ government derived most of its authority from the elites, depriving many of those residing in lower socioeconomic classes from a voice in government. During the time of the American Revolution,
A democracy is a system of government controlled by the people, not by one certain group or individual. In the Declaration of Independence it states that “all men are created equal,” an idea which leads to the concept that all citizens should have the same rights, responsibilities, and influence in the governing of their country. In writing the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson was trying to break his ties with the harsh and non-democratic rule of the British and begin a new, equal society and government for America.
From the early 1840s to the present day, a democracy can be described as a flawed establishment which has been shaped by the power of wealth and control, complex social relations, and most importantly the people’s desire to live a fulfilling life. Throughout this time period the principles of democracy, such as equality, protection of the people’s interest, and promotion of human rights were shifting in order to increase the democracy efficiency. Therefore the continued importance of the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and Constitution remain significant since, in American today, democracy is a system that is continuously being shaped by the people within it.
Upon the opening words of the Constitution, "We the People do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," one must ask, who are these people? While the American Constitution provided its citizens with individual rights, many members were excluded. Elite framers manipulated the idea of a constitution in order to protect their economic interests and the interests of their fellow white land and slave owning men' by restricting the voices of women, slaves, indentured servants and others. Therefore, the Constitution cannot truly be considered a "democratic document." However, because it is a live document, malleable and controllably changeable according to the interest of congress, it has enabled us to make
America is synonymous with the word freedom, even being dubbed “the land of the free” by its own national anthem. But, what makes America so much more “free” than other countries? Some would argue that it’s America’s system of democracy, despite the fact that democratic governments are now the most common form of rule found in countries around the world. American democracy, although effective, is not the best democracy style for all nations; because, like many other countries, its government contains many flaws, including: its low voter turnout, two-party political parties creating division and deadlock in congress, and government positions of power being bankrolled and controlled by the rich.