Since it gained independence the year 1776, the United States of America has grown to become one of the most powerful and developed countries in the world. The extent of America’s power can be measured by its great military and financial power that that only few countries can boast to possess. In terms of the country’s advanced level of development, the country has shown impressive levels of technological, governance and democratic advancement. However, this paper will seek to discuss on whether America’s level of democracy has been develop to its full potential or if there are a few shortcomings in the countries underlying principles of governance that undermine the democratic rights of its people.
In summary, there are three main aspects that act as the foundation of democracy in America. These pillars include America’s Declaration of Independence, the country’s Articles of Confederation and its Bill of Rights. However, it is also important to note that America’s constitution has played a significant role in laying the foundations for the existence of democracy within the country. There has emerged a debate on whether the construction of the three documents mentioned above will ensure a perfect existence of democracy in America. Some critics argue that there are loopholes and shortcomings in the documents mentioned above that would give room for the democratic right of the American people to be violated. An analysis of the documents mentioned above might help to shed more light on the validity of the arguments made by the critics.
As stated earlier, the America’s Declaration of Independence is one of the documents that act as a pillar of the country’s democracy. The Declaration of Independence was a document that was formulated in 1776 and it acted as the foundation of America’s freedom from its attempted colonization by the British. Before the formulation of the document, the British had infiltrated America with an aim of colonizing its people. However, in the year 1773-1774, the American people revolted and gained complete freedom from the British which later translated to the country’s independence in the year 1776.
The Declaration of Independence was formulated as proof of America’s independence. The principle behind the construction of the document was the fact that the country would be governed by American people under systems of democracy. American citizens were, therefore, at liberty to choose their leaders and the manner in which they wanted to be governed. This was an important milestone in America since it established some level of freedom and democracy upon each American citizen regards to his/her ability to determine how the country would be governed.
After, the establishment of a complete state of independence in America, the principle of governance of the American country through federalism was established. This meant that there would be a central authority to rule over the 52 states that comprised America while at the same time, all states would have some significant level of autonomy to rule over their own affairs. The use of federalism as a method of governing America gave the country’s states a significant ability to run its own affairs independently. This enhanced the democracy of the people residing in different American states to determine how their states would be governed.
The formulation of America’s Articles of Confederation also acted as a big boost to the existence of democracy in America. The Articles of Confederation were formulated to explain the boundaries and sovereignty that each state possessed. This, therefore, meant that the Articles of Confederation set out the boundaries other states or political powers were not supposed to cross when dealing with a particular state, thereby, giving each state and its citizens some level of democracy to be able to rule over themselves.
America’s Bill of Rights is an important part of the American constitution that offers a significant support to the existence of democracy in the United States of America. The Bill of Rights offers an elaborate explanation of some of the rights that each American citizen has to express his/her opinion. Allowing all American citizens to exercise their freedoms and rights is amounts to promoting democracy in America. The Bill of Rights, therefore, acts as an important pillar of democracy in America.
The existence of America’s Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Bill of Right has brought about an admirable level of democracy in America that can be evidenced by several factors. For example, the three documents have enhanced democracy in that they have allowed for an existence of diversity within America i.e. it has allowed for a diversified culture, race and religion within the country. This is evidenced by the fact that all American citizens have the same rights or freedoms regardless of whether they are black, white, Muslim, Christian, gay or straight etc.
Another source of proof that the existence of the three main documents have enhanced some level of democracy within America is the fact that there are more civil societies in America that have attracted a large number of people who use them to voice out their grievances. It has become common for people to use civil societies as a platform through which they can protest, object and negotiate with the relevant authorities whenever they have grievances.
Democracy can also been seen in America in the systems of governance that have been established in America. Some of the democratic systems of governance that have been established include the use of the principle of separation of powers, federalism and the fragmentation of the constitution by design. Democracy has also been applied in the operation of various American parties. For example, parties in America are allowed to make contributions during the formulation of various legislation as well as participation in various important organizations. The formulation of public policies in America is also required to follow the principles of democracy. For example, policies regarding the provision of medical care, transportation, welfare and the size of the public sector are required to accommodate and comply with the wishes of the American people.
However, there are a number of ways in which the democracy of the American people has been undermined. For example, the systems of governance and policies being formulated are slowly turning into capitalist rather democratic state. This situation has been brought about the intense concentration by American authorities on industrializing and modernizing America towards the production of more goods and services. In some situations, the democratic rights of American citizens are infringed due to the ambitions of certain individuals or organizations to attain profit.
The democracy of American citizens has also been infringed by influential people in America. This is evidenced by the fact that most influential people have used their powers to lock out minority members of the society from benefiting from various opportunities that may arise within the country in order to ensure that the benefits from viable opportunities are only enjoyed by a few people.
Democracy has also been undermined in the United States by the fact responsible authorities have failed to educate the American citizens about their democratic rights. Educating Americans should be made a constitutional right in order to ensure that democratic governance is applied. Another loophole that has led to the infringement the democratic rights of the American citizens arises from the fact that there has been an overdependence of the Supreme Court that has often been non-democratic to uphold the democratic rights of American citizens. The culture of ignorance portrayed by a large number of Americans has also encouraged the infringement of their democratic rights. Most American citizens have access to a large volume of information yet they fail to acquire knowledge that will help them to advocate for their rights.
Hamilton, Alexander. “The Federalist Papers.” 15 November 1777. thomas.loc.gov. 5 February 2013
Edwards, C. George, C. Martin Watternberg and L. Robert Lineberry. “The Constitution.” 2010. wps.ablongman.com. 5 February 2013