Defining Democracy Essay, Research Paper
Democracy is defined as rule by the people. It is the form of government that our country chooses to use. There are five main parts to our democratic form of government: individual rights, freedom, equality, majority rules, and limited government. These five main parts are essential to keep our nation in balance. Each one relates to the other by making the latter possible.
This essay will elaborate, illustrate and exemplify each part, it will also explain how they are interdependent.
Individual rights are the rights that every citizen is entitled to under the Bill of Rights. Some of these rights are the right to bear arms, the right to freedom of speech and press, and the right to freedom of religion. An example of how individual rights effects us is the right to free speech. We have the ability to say anything we want about our government no matter if it is good or bad. In some countries talking bad about their government is a crime punishable by death. The individual rights give us freedom that other countries do not allow their citizens.
The freedom we have gives us the right to do anything we choose as long as our actions do no harm anyone or break the local laws. We have the ability to choose any profession we like with out the government forcing us to be something they want. Freedom gives us the ability to make our own choices in life. This freedom we so value was not always available to everyone. Slaves were deprived of there rights because they were not considered citizens. It took a civil war to free the slaves and for the nation to view them as equals. This equality ensures them the same rights under the law.
” All men are created equal”. This is what the Constitution says. Equality ensures us that we all have the same opportunity as the person next to us. What we choose to do with it is our decision. No person should be discriminated based on race, gender, religious or sexual preference. That statement holds a lot in the job market. It forbids employers from paying different salaries to different people as long as they are doing the same job and are equally qualified.
The rights above were decided on along time ago by people who represented the citizens. They, in essence, were decided by majority rules. Majority rules gives the people the ability to vote in open elections, by secret ballot. This allows the citizens to elect their governing body, which bring us back to the definition of democracy, rule by the people. Most of al the officials in our government are elected by a majority vote, except the Supreme Court. Our electing of officials makes a limited government because our representatives have to listed to us and voice our concerns in Congress.
Limited government means that no one part has total power. The government has a system of checks and balances. The President can not make a law or declare war with out the approval of Congress, and vise versa. They both have the ability to veto each others laws before they become active. Limited government is like a marriage. Both parties have to inform each other before they spend money or make a decision. An example of this is when Clinton sent troops to Iraq. He could not declare war on Saddam until Congress approved. This keeps us from suffering form a Dictatorship, or a bad monarchy. We always have the right to impeach the president.
I have learned a lot about or government and democracy since the start of the class. I would have never known that there were five parts to democracy that keep our nation free, and give us our rights and freedoms. I also learned that we could not have one with out the other.