The Spirit of Democracy - Democracy Essay Example
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Democracy can trace its roots from the ancient Greek city-states and Rome. The concept of democracy has been there for a long time although the definition varies with time and space. Although the word is not referred to in the American constitution, it has been existent within the system. When the constitution was ratified to read ‘we the people’ in real sense what it meant was that the relation of the American people was unanimous thus in a way democratic.
The United States constitution is the highest governing document or the republics supreme law of the United States. It was adopted as the supreme law in 17 September 1787 by the constitutional convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was later to be ratified by the people of the republic in all the constituent states to start with the phrase “we the people”. Since its drafting, ratification and subsequent amendments it has withstood the tests of time to end up being one of the best constitutions in the world today. When the constitution was ratified to read ‘we the people’ in real sense what it meant was that the relation of the American people was unanimous thus in a way democratic.
In addition, the declaration of independence proclaimed by the thirteen colonies on their justification for parting ways with the British crown was a unanimous decision that we can argue, was arrived at democratically.
The declaration of independence is considered one of the founding documents for the American governing system. Among the main ideas within the declaration for independence was that of liberty (the conception that man or an individual has immunity over the arbitrary implementation of authority. This was because of the widespread spirit of republicanism existent at the time. It also encompassed notions of natural justice and law, self-determination among others.
The roots of all these ideas were widespread some of these ideas were derived from the writings of political scientists on the nature and functions of states as well as philosophers like john Locke and Thomas Paine. This was the reason why Thomas Jefferson claimed that the purpose of the declaration was not to find new ideas but to incorporate the old principles into as simple format that people or the common person would understand.
Democracy is considered by many to be a form of government by the majority. In other words, it is a government of the people for the people and by the people. Thus, a democracy needs to accommodate concepts of political equality, civil liberties, and the participation by the people as well as political sovereignty in order to exist as a true democracy
Tindall George (1984), America: a narrative history, Norton, New York.
Maier Pauline (1997), American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence, Vintage, U.S