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Custom Problems Inherent to Democracy in General essay paper
The major problem with democracy is too open for interpretation and any one can make it mean anything for himself and herself. Democracy means that individuals have right to self determination. Determining what is acceptable within masses is very difficult and can lead to chaos.
Democracy at times is defined as the rule of the majority, this means that the majority have a say but it may not be what is the best for the citizen. Democracy simply does what the majority wants e.g. if the majority doesn’t want sex education to be introduced in school then it will not be introduced, or if the majority wants a bad leader because of fame or the money the leader has regardless of the policies and the leadership skills he has then the whole society is bound by the decision of the majority.
In democracy as long as you avoid certain types of policies and outright violence, it allows the majority to impose it will on the minority. The majority can impose culture, language and other social aspects of the society on the minority an example is prohibitions of alcohol or drugs as was in America before 1933 when the prohibion on alcohol was repealed.
The holding of elections is used as a measure of how democratic a country is, but this assumption may not be correct as it overlooks dirty activities that some bad candidates practice, they can either be motivated by class, tribal or monetary considerations and thus perpetrate electoral malpractices and get to leadership positions, this acts will still be considered to be democratic since elections were conducted. According to Human Rights Watch, “Authoritarian rulers are violating human rights around the world and getting away with it largely because the US European and other established democracies accept their claims that merely holding elections make them democratic...”
Issues and incidents that had given democracy a "bad reputation" many centuries before the American Revolution
The American Revolution took place in the last half of the18th century when the thirteen states from the north joined together and got independence from the British Empire Thus forming the United States of America. Some of the problems include;
Before the American Revolution some early democracies e.g. in Mesopotamia the power to vote only rested in a group of free male citizen. Thus not all people were allowed to vote and women were not at all allowed to vote.
Slavery and slave trade greatly affected democracy in some societies as some people were subjected to forced labor and oppression and thus had absolute no say in the affairs going on and their rights as citizens were not recognized.
Also before the 18th century there existed a lot of absolute monarchies in most societies thus democracy faced a lot of challenges as the monarchies word was final and every one in the kingdom or empire had to abide by it.
The Roman Catholic Church had a lot of influence of the world order before the 18th century and viewed democracy as evil and was non receptive of the spread of democracy in the society.
Problems encountered by the new American nation, its government, and the governments in the states during the years of confederation (1781-1789)
Weaknesses in the Articles of confederation. The articles left a lot of powers on the states for fear of forming a strong unitary state. Congress had no powers to levy taxes and thus depended on contribution from individual states which at times were not enough to sufficiently run the nation. The congress could not punish states that do not honor their expected contributions to the congress.
Each state could issue own currency. Some of the states printed a lot of money that had large face value but low buying power.
Every state had a veto power thus making decision making very difficult as they could veto decisions they did not like.
There was no national court to interpret the law or reinforce it, The Congress was the sole organ of the national government, but it had no power to force the states to do anything against their will.
The congress could declare war but could not force any state to contribute its army or provide equipment for the war.
When states quarreled the congress mediated in the quarrels but their final decisions were not necessarily binding to the states.
Due to lack of powers to levy taxes and states not remitting money to the federal government, the federal government was heavily into debt.
Ways in which the governmental framework established by the new US constitution address;
1. the problems of the old confederation
The New constitution established a strong Federal Government and reduced the powers of the State government as they were almost autonomous; the states were put under the federal government.
In the articles of the Confederation it tried to unite the states but failed, The Constitution, created a strong central government with powers to regulate relations between states.
The new constitution allowed the federal government to levy taxes on all states thus was able to finance it s activities unlike in the Articles of confederation where the States levied the taxes.
In the new constitution the central government could adequately deal with defense and foreign affair as it could get troops from all states and had finances to fund its military.
Uniform currency was introduced and controlled by the federal government.
The was establishment of courts that interpreted the law of the whole country and ensured all laws by the states are in conformity with the constitution of the federal government.
The problems of democracy in general
The new constitution introduced the Bill of Rights which ensured the rights of all American citizens are safeguarded and protected.
Under the new constitution each state had a legislature and the constitution Cleary defined how they will be put in place.
The constitution also established a strong congress and a method of electing the President e.g. George Washington the first president who was voted unanimously.
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