Americas Political Legacy Essay, Research Paper
Webster?s Dictionary defines legacy as ?anything handed down from an ancestor, predecessor, or earlier era.? Legacy is something that has been passed on, something that teaches, something that is embraces a person or society and aids them through life with knowledge and a proven system. In the United States we have the duty to proudly carry on the American legacy. Democratic principles and justice support the American legacy. As American citizens, we share a commonality; we share a legacy that promises freedom and a government that has flourished for hundreds of years. Starting with revolution and ending with the Bill of Rights, our legacy, if practiced continuously, will live on.
Revolution. If there is one thing, one ideal that encompasses all of American history, it is the idea of revolution. Starting with revolting against Britain and continuing into the 21st century, to revolt has been in American. Embedded into the minds of every American past or present has been that it is their right to revolt if any rights have been taken away or harnessed. One of the rights promised was the right to vote.
A democratic government guaranteed citizens a freely elected government. Ideally everyone would receive equal representation. The framers believed that this type of system would be able to control the damage of faction. If the framers had developed a pure democracy, then each citizen would have the right to vote on every topic. Using the representative form of government, every citizen would have the right to vote for representatives, and those representatives would vote and directly govern the country. A freely elected government promised the citizens a system free from overly destructive factions, and tyranny.
The backbone of the American legacy is the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. More then 200 years old, the Constitution remains the operating charter of our republic.? The United States has a government under the law. Unlike many governments, U.S. citizens and the government must practice our democracy under the Supreme law of the Constitution. As citizens, whether we are in direct agreement or not, have chose to accept this law, and are not above it.
Although our government is not above the Constitution, the Supreme Court does have the right to interpret it. This part of our legacy is judicial review. Judicial review also entails that every government action is subject to be reviewed in court. Judicial review is a major part of our political legacy because the decisions made by the Supreme Court regarding this matter have changed the course of our history.
The framers created another piece of American legacy with the idea of separation of powers and checks and balances. Through a complicated, but well thought-out system, our three branches of government are always being checked and balanced by the others. The people of our country have flourished because of the lack of centralized power and in turn, the impossibility of tyranny by the majority.
Also curbing tyranny and centralized power is federalism. Along with the separation of powers, our legacy entails federalism. Federalism is a division of authority that separates national, state and local government. Each with appropriated power and influence on the other; they work separately but at the same time, together to govern our country.