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Democracy versus Republic It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved.
It should be noted, in passing, that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government--that is, featuring genuinely free elections by the people periodically--is not helpful in discussing, as here, the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: This double meaning of Democracy--a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government--needs to be made clear in any discussion, or writing, regarding this subject, for the sake of sound understanding.
These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between a The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and b The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority; as we shall now see.
A Democracy The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority.
It is a case of Majority-over-Man. This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy.
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In the direct type, applicable only to a small number of people as in the little city-states of ancient Greece, or in a New England town-meeting, all of the electorate assemble to debate and decide all government questions, and all decisions are reached by a majority vote of at least half-plus-one.
This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority. This was what The Framers of the United States Constitution meant inin debates in the Federal framing Convention, when they condemned the "excesses of democracy" and abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual by The Majority.
Examples were provided in the immediate post years by the legislatures of some of the States. In reaction against earlier royal tyranny, which had been exercised through oppressions by royal governors and judges of the new State governments, while the legislatures acted as if they were virtually omnipotent.
There were no effective State Constitutions to limit the legislatures because most State governments were operating under mere Acts of their respective legislatures which were mislabelled "Constitutions.
Connecticut and Rhode Island continued under their old Charters for many years. It was not until that the first genuine Republic through constitutionally limited government, was adopted by Massachusetts--next New Hampshire inother States later.
It was in this connection that Jefferson, in his "Notes On The State of Virginia" written inprotected against such excesses by the Virginia Legislature in the years following the Declaration of Independence, saying: He also denounced the despotic concentration of power in the Virginia Legislature, under the so-called "Constitution"--in reality a mere Act of that body: The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government.
It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. Let those who doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice.
To contend to the contrary is to falsify history. Such a falsification not only maligns the high purpose and good character of The Framers but belittles the spirit of the truly Free Man in America--the people at large of that period--who happily accepted and lived with gratification under the Constitution as their own fundamental law and under the Republic which it created, especially because they felt confident for the first time of the security of their liberties thereby protected against abuse by all possible violators, including The Majority momentarily in control of government.
The truth is that The Framers, by their protests against the "excesses of democracy," were merely making clear their sound reasons for preferring a Republic as the proper form of government. They also knew that the American people would not consent to any form of government but that of a Republic.
It is of special interest to note that Jefferson, who had been in Paris as the American Minister for several years, wrote Madison from there in March that: Somewhat earlier, Madison had written Jefferson about violation of the Bill of Rights by State legislatures, stating: In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current.
"Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time" [Winston Churchill speech] "Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them" [Robert, Marquis de . Democracy definition, government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. See more. The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use a representational system — i.e., citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the.
The undependable sense of self-restraint of the persons making up The Majority at any particular time offers, of course, no protection whatever. Such a form of government is characterized by The Majority Omnipotent and Unlimited.
This is true, for example, of the Representative Democracy of Great Britain; because unlimited government power is possessed by the House of Lords, under an Act of Parliament of indeed, it has power to abolish anything and everything governmental in Great Britain. For a period of some centuries ago, some English judges did argue that their decisions could restrain Parliament; but this theory had to be abandoned because it was found to be untenable in the light of sound political theory and governmental realities in a Representative Democracy.
Under this form of government, neither the courts not any other part of the government can effectively challenge, much less block, any action by The Majority in the legislative body, no matter how arbitrary, tyrannous, or totalitarian they might become in practice.
The parliamentary system of Great Britain is a perfect example of Representative Democracy and of the potential tyranny inherent in its system of Unlimited Rule by Omnipotent Majority. This pertains only to the potential, to the theory, involved; governmental practices there are irrelevant to this discussion.
He commented as follows: A Republic A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. The definition of a Republic is: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.
Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.
The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention--especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose--to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen.A democracy is a government run by the people.
Each citizen has a say (or vote) in how the government is run. This is different from a monarchy or dictatorship where one person (the king or dictator) has all the power.
Types of Democracy There are two main types of democracies: direct and.
Democracy recognizes the worth of a man. It rejects the right of one or a few to rule over the others.
Under democracy the community as a whole is the custodian of sovereignty of state. Dewey says, "The foundation of democracy is faith in the capacities of human nature, faith in human intelligence. Democracy - The legitimacy of government: According to Locke, in the hypothetical “state of nature” that precedes the creation of human societies, men live “equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection,” and they are perfectly free to act and to dispose of their possessions as they see fit, within the bounds of natural law.
An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic. It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved.
Aristocracy is the form of government advocated in Plato's Republic. This regime Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. Power must be seized to maintain order. A champion will come along and experience power, . Democracy definition, government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.