Founding Fathers
History of the United States
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Did the founding fathers want democracy for all?


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2009-07-23 15:54:09
2009-07-23 15:54:09

As evidenced by the Federalists Papers, most of the founders wanted America to be a democracy. But, the fears of some, that democracy would turn into mob rule caused them to ultimately create a representative republic which, having some aspects of democracy, was the next best thing. And, the founders didn't intend for everyone to participate in governance, since only white property owners were then considered to be citizens. Democracy is a political system in which the true will of the majority of the governed becomes the supreme law of the land. This sounds great, until we realize it means that 51% of the population decides how the other 49% live. Thomas Jefferson, for one, detested democracy for this reason, because it invariably devolved into tyrannical rule and subjugation of individual freedoms of the few by the many. It also negates the concept of individual rights, replacing it with the slippery idea of government-supplied 'privileges' in favor of the "common good". The word 'democracy' is not mentioned anywhere in the Declaration of Independence or US Constitution. A constitutional republic, on the other hand, recognizes that rights are inalienable (i.e., they come from God and not Man) and thus cannot be revoked save by due process of law. For example, the US constitution did not create our rights but rather affirmed them. In a republic, the primary purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights of life, liberty and property for its citizens. As elegant as these ideals were, the Founding Fathers were products of their generation. Women, children, and the landless had few if any rights. When they spoke of rights "for all men" they were referring to all, typically white European, land owners, aka 'free holders'. Several of the founders owned slaves, most famously Benjamin Franklin. Nevertheless, these men established an enlightened form of government whose powers were narrowly defined. Government was specifically limited to a handful of finite responsibilities. This was to prohibit those with power from immediately beginning to expand upon it and thus encroach on individual freedom. The Founders were so concerned that power would be usurped from the States (and by the extension, from the people themselves), that they drafted the first ten amendments (AKA Bill of Rights) to specify the unalterable rights never to be modified or limited by any future government of the Republic. Recent history will demonstrate whether this still holds true. Unfortunately, the gradual transformation of our nation from a constitutional republic to that of a simple majority democracy has led many Americans to believe it was "meant to be that way". This is no doubt why the Founders specifically required that the President swear a solemn oath "to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign or domestic." It was, and continues to be, the single most important responsibility of any US leader.


Related Questions

They had all ready lived under monarchy and knew that is what they didn't want.

The founding fathers wanted to protect, above all things, the unalienable rights which all men possessed: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

you would be better off looking on his bio that is where i found all my info from.

No. You have to consider what the meaning of "founding fathers" are. Founding something requires laying fundamental building blocks. All of our founding fathers were not white, because many different people are responsible for the development of The United States. An example would be Greece. They qualify as a founding father for The United States. They were the first culture to install democracy into their culture after winner battles Salamis and Marathon. Our country used their method of democracy to establish government. Another example of America's founding fahers were the slaves. Slaves were the main income for agriculture. Agriculture was the fundamental building to America's Industrial Revolution. Look into the history books of our country. The founding fathers are in the pages of books. You just have to look for them. The true founding fathers of this nation were just not men signing documentation, they have definded the world we see around us each and everyday. I hope that answers your question.

The founding fathers revolted against the British because they were always all up in their grill.

The founding fathers believed in liberty for all, yet many "owned" slaves.

Out of all the Founding Fathers, the only one who did not attend college was George Washington. He was one of the seven Founding Fathers from Virginia.

The very first words of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution shows the Founding Fathers' belief in democracy. "We the people" shows their interest in the well being of all citizens.

MOst of them and i think they all are

It all depends on which country you live in!

The founding fathers wanted the executive branch of government to make all laws official throughout the United States. They wanted to ensure that the various branches did their part to keep the country operating in a cohesive manner.

The founding fathers feared that a democratic government, with power in the hands of the people. They knew and discussed how all prior democracies ended in disastrous failure.

The Founding Fathers saw the United States as a free nation, where there would always be a separation of religion and state.

No. The Founding Fathers were inspired by Enlightenment ideals and opposed to despots. The Ancient Egyptian system and the contemporaneous Egyptian governates were despotic regimes that opposed almost all Enlightenment ideals. As a result, the Founding Fathers did not use Egypt as inspiration.

so did he not go to collefe at all

all white people livinng in the republic

None. They were all born in the colonies.

The Founding Fathers all spoke English so it's reasonable to think that they assumed this would be the dominant language. Otherwise, they'd all have had to learn another language.

Not exactly, they would want people to be able to pray in school, but this country was founded on religious freedom and they would want all religions to be able to pray in school.

All of it. The definition of the term "Founding Fathers" is those men who helped write those two documents. Michael Montagne

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