American Democracy

6 June 2016

Democracy had its origin in Rome, primeval Greece and both South and North America and has gained roots nearly all over the entire world and states become efficient and effective in there responsibilities if they utilize this concept. I will therefore discuss in this paper the aspect of democracy in America and the types of democracy that is direct and indirect types and point out the one used in this country particularly in California State. I will also proceed to highlight both democratic and undemocratic issues in America.

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Definition of democracy

Democracy is simply defined as government by the people for the people. Essentially it illustrates small units of interrelated structures of administration. Research indicates that the primary characteristics of democracy comprise of administrations founded on popular rule, open and just elections, safeguarding political/opinionated minorities, high opinion of fundamental human privileges/rights, and impartiality before rule of law, and opinionated pluralism. (Anthony, 1957)

Direct Democracy

This is the practice of democracy which provides an opportunity to the citizens of a particular country to be involved in decision making process directly without depending on legislative bodies who act as there representatives. Many scholars argue that this kind of democracy is a feeble structure commonly practiced by comparatively small societies.

This type of democracy is not only about the issue of voting but also includes referendum. According to the research I conducted, California state practices this direct democracy as witnessed through the making of decisions using referendum style, for example in the year 1998 the citizens of California who numbered twenty million engaged in referendum. (Markoff, 1996)

Indirect democracy

Unlike direct democracy representatives or intermediaries of the citizens of a state or nation play a key role in decision making process. These intermediaries are usually elected by the citizens and they have the duty to protect the interest of the electorate because they have the mandate to do so.

This kind of democracy has led to the practice of what is termed as representative democracy whereby the citizens elect administration executives who formulate decisions that will represent the interest of those citizens. Representative democratic system is a type of indirect parliamentary government whereby such officials or intermediaries are democratically elected and typically complicated to recall them if they do not carry their duties as required.

This form is usually based on a principle called Edmund Burkes which declares that the intermediaries selected should carry their duties based on the sense of what is right and wrong. (Joseph, 1950)

Views of various scholars on American democracy

There are many people who expressed different views about democracy and include the following: Robert A. Dahl who looked at the fundamental suppositions of democratic hypothesis, experiment them in opposition to the enquiries put forward by it opponents and build the concept of democratic system in to fresh and rational whole. Dahl deduces that there are various directions that democratic system has to move if superior autonomous countries are to subsist. (Dahl, 1989)

Alexis de Tocqueville also had reflective outcomes regarding the theory of democratic organization. Alexi’s ideas emphasized on the issue of equality being an important ingredient to democracy; he further argues that without equality crime cases will rise. He also emphasizes on sovereignty or autonomy of states and also points out the importance of public opinion as the other key ingredients to achieving democracy.

Another contributor is Jane Mansbridge who believed on democratic process and she dedicated her political opinions on democracy and equality in America. She argues that equality must prevail in order to achieve justice and only through democratic means that this equality can be realized.

Thomas Marshall contributed to democracy in America by working to changing the existing laws then to that rules which embraced democracy for example he worked on voting rights among others. He also emphasized the issue of equality and he said that it propelled the country in the direct direction that is being democratic. He also worked tirelessly in reinforcing substantive egalitarianism in America by guaranteeing that sparkling method of checks and equilibriums among the three divisions of administration put forward in the American constitution was functioning.

On his part Richard Hofstadter proposed that both anti-intellectualism and utilitarianism are outcomes experienced faced on the road to democratization of information or knowledge. Hofstadter preliminary worry of function of the institution of higher education and the scholars in the community developed into an influential appraisal of the current principle of learning and the position of civic education in America. (Johansen, 1996)

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