Democracy In America

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Democracy in America

Democracy in America


Democracy is an ancient Greek word meaning the rule (kratos) of the people (demos). It refers primarily to a form of government in which political decisions are made by a majority of the citizens (direct democracy) or their elected representatives (representative democracy). Democracy also signifies a country, society, or culture that possesses or tends toward a democratic form of government. Thus one might say that the future states of America knew democracy before officially gaining independence from the British Empire. Varieties of democracy and of democratic theory abound, but a remarkable consensus exists as to the value of democracy: To call a country democratic today is virtually synonymous with saying its government is legitimate. Since World War II, almost all countries, however authoritarian, have called themselves democratic and have held elections—even if fraudulent—to maintain this reputation. This paper discusses American Democracy.

American Democracy

Equality, rights, citizenship, toleration, participation. Democracy should be a word familiar to most, but it is a concept still misused and misunderstood to this day. Democracy is defined as government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.In the words of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people. Freedom and democracy are often used as one, but are not synonyms. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but also consists of a set of practices and procedures that identify constitutional government, human rights, and equality before the law. Nevertheless, the idea of democracy has provoked some of history's most profound explanations of human will and intellect, like Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence in 1776. Democracy was a growing idea to the thirteen English colonies in America during the eighteenth century. By examining the changes in politics, religion, property distribution, and social structure in Wethersfield, Connecticut between 1750-1780, one can see the growing reality of democracy, which swept through American society, but also a few impediments to that growth(Storing 1990 ).

Democracies come in different forms, and the parliamentary democracies that govern Europe appear to have been less successful at controlling the size of government than American democracy because interest groups can wield more influence in parliamentary systems. Although every nation is different in its particulars, in parliamentary democracies, parties choose who will represent them in elections, in contrast to the system that prevails in the United States, where anyone can run for office. Additionally, voters in parliamentary systems almost always vote for parties, rather than individual candidates. After parliamentary elections, the winners form a government that has control over legislation as long as it remains in power. Because the parties choose representatives in parliamentary systems, representatives vote the party line and do not have the independence to vote against the party position, unlike in the United States (Knight Johnson 1999 ). As a result, interest groups have more influence ...
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