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Democracy Case

Essay by   •  January 22, 2013  •  Essay  •  736 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,226 Views

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Democracy, in a nutshell, is system of government where decisions are made by the citizens of an area as opposed to having one person or a small group of people make the decisions. There are three types of democracy: direct democracy, representative, and constitutional. While all three types of government derive their power from the citizens, there are differences. In a direct democracy, all citizens assemble and have their thoughts and opinions on matters heard in a large assembly. Unfortunately, this resulted in a chaotic and disorganized system, where it was difficult to gain a consensus on matters due to varying points of view.

A representative democracy, which is what most refer to today when using the term "democracy", helped solve the issues that were seen in a direct democracy. Instead of every single citizen have a voice on every matter; representatives are elected by the citizens of an area as governmental officials to represent the will of the citizens. A constitutional democracy is what sets the limits of these representatives' powers. These limits are set in a constitution and are enforced by a system of checks and balances.

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: .Prentice Hall)

There are four core values of democracy: personal liberty, respect for the individual, equality of opportunity, and popular consent. Personal liberty is the individual opportunity to realize one's own goals. Respect for the individual is the thought that all citizens, regardless of age, race, sex, or social status, hold a central measure of value. Equality of opportunity states that all citizens have the same opportunities. Popular consent evokes the idea that a government only derives its power from the consent of the people it governs.

1) Identify and explain two compromises included in the Constitution by the members of the original Constitutional Convention

The two main compromises of the constitution were the Three-Fifths Compromise and the Connecticut Compromise. The three-fifths compromise was in regards to the questions of how to have equal representation of all states, regardless of population. This was an issue because in some states slavery was still prevalent. In order to pacify those who were in favor of slavery, but still allow slaves to have a voice in governmental proceedings, it was determined that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a free person for the purposes of apportionmentin the house of representatives.

The Connecticut Compromise was an agreement for states in which there would be two houses in the legislature. The lower house would have representation based on population and the upper house would have 2 representatives, known as senators.l

2) Give one example of the constitutional principle of separation of powers and one example of the system of checks and balances.

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