Characteristics of American democracy and its difference from the theory of democratic government
American democracy has a few characteristics that are noted by many countries worldwide. It recognizes individual dignity. This means that people have a right to have life and liberty, to own property and to be protected under the lands law (U.S. Department of State). The democracy makes everyone equal and offers equal protection under the law. The democracy also offers an equal opportunity to every individual within the country to be involved in the decision making process that affects the society and the public in general (United states of America, 2011). The majority rule is also another character of the democracy. This involves giving the people a chance to make one vote in order to decide whom they want their leader to be or in the making of other decisions, that needs the public’s opinion.
Democratic theory does necessarily mean that the government will follow what the majority of the people are advocating. The government also looks at other factors before implementing some policies or making some laws. For example, according to the democracy side of view, about 65% of Americans are in favor of some sort of praying in public school, however, the government does not accept this (Janda, 2000). In this case, the government acts contrary of what the public advocates. While democracy advocates for the people’s conditions, democratic government advocates for the governmental conditions. Substantive and procedural views of democracy may disfavor the minority while the democratic ones favor the minorities.
Compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Why the Constitution succeed where the Articles of Confederation failed
One major similarity between the two is that they both imposed the congress with the legislative (lawmaking) power. Both had the power of receiving and sending ambassadors. The governments were given the power to choose and equip any army, negotiate treaties, govern territories, making the cabinet and both treated the citizens of all states with equality. Other major differences were present. The articles treated the people as sovereign while the constitution divides the sovereignty of the people into states and central government (The University of Oklahoma, 2011). The articles did not have any independent executive while the constitution has an independent executive. The articles had no federal courts while the constitution has separated federal court system. The congress had no taxing power in the articles. The constitution offers the congress to ask for taxes and duties.
The constitution was stronger than the articles especially at that time when the nation was still young. The “one vote” rules imposed by the articles, made the larger states complain of unfairness in representation as compared to the smaller states. Congress could not pass important bills due to the two-thirds vote majority needed to make laws (AcademicInfo, 2011). Most power was given to the diverse states, which mostly ignored the congress. For these reasons, the congress looked like a toothless, barking dog. The government had congress as the only branch and so it could control most of the states.
AcademicInfo, (2011). U.S. Government & Politics- Directory of Online Resources. Retrieved from http://www.academicinfo.net/poliscius.html
Janda, K. (2000). American Government and Politics (Week2, Lecture 2). Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web site: http://janda.org/b20/Lectures/Week%202/W2-2DemocraticTheory.htm
The United States of America, (2010). The Constitution of the United States and Other Historical American Documents: Including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the Confederate States. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc
The University of Oklahoma, (2011). The Chronology of US Historical Documents. Retrieved from http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/
U.S. Department of states, (2008). Characterictics of Democracy. America.gov archive. Retrieved from http://www.america.gov/st/democracy…/20080623194736eaifas0.658703.html
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