Constitutional Democracy

In the formulating of a constitutional democracy, the Framers were influenced by two governmental theories: John Locke’s natural rights philosophy and the ideals of classical republicanism from the Greeks and Romans. Locke’s philosophy pondered on the importance of individual rights and self-interest.

People who live under a certain government have a “social contract” with their political representatives, or the government. The have an agreement that as long as the government protects the natural rights of the people, then they consent to give up a portion of their freedom and abide by all the laws of the said government. George Washington, one of the Founders of the US Constitution, told members of the Tuoro Synagogue in 1790, “Happily, the government of the United States that gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it their effectual support. “ However, what happens when the government stops working for it’s people. The Right to Revolution allows for assembly of the people to overthrow the government.

Since the Constitution was really a compilation of all the knowledge and wisdom from the past, it is very obvious that much thought and time was put into the writing of this document. Its ideas and principles were working for the citizens of the United States up to this present time. The US government is still the authority of the country and despite occasionally being questioned, has never been overthrown. We agree with Webster that the US Constitution is a collection of the wisdom for all ages. Some people might think that there’s no way for it to include all the knowledge and wisdom for all of time. Some of its addressed items are slightly indirect. One such clause that contains enough elasticity to be broad and cover a wide range of rights is the “necessary and proper” clause, which enables Congress to create the “necessary and proper” laws in order for them to carry out the powers delegated to them by the Constitution. There are also the 27 Amendments to the Constitution that was written and approved to protect the individual and in the 14th Selective Inclusion Clause to demand that states now protect individual rights. This Constitution, with the help of the ninth Amendment of “unenumerated rights”, was left broad enough to cover every aspect of citizenship, government and the protection of natural rights.

An empire of reason could be considered a system under which the country is run on sensible and realistic views and principles: views that accentuate on common welfare, principles that are broad enough to refer to all people yet still strict enough as to restrict certain unreasonable behavior, and views that address the people with a sense of authority that still leaves room to show respect towards its citizens. It is reasonable to assume the American Republic is an “empire of reason.” Many great minds worked together to create this “miracle at the Philadelphia Convention.” Thomas Jefferson argued that although the Constitution was well written, it still needed a Bill of Rights, which it later received. While Jefferson was President, his Secretary of State, James Madison, continued his work within the government. He highly approved of the idea of the federal government being that natin’s ultimate authority over each individual state’s government. Both ideas of Jefferson and Madison were incorporated in the Constitution, and add to the sensibility and reason of the Constitution as a whole. In 1990, Czech President Vaclav Havel imposed upon the US Congress, “Wasn’t it the best minds of your country…who wrote your famous Declaration of Independence, you Bill of Human Rights, and you Constitution?… those great documents…inspire us all; they inspire us despite the fact that they are over two hundred years old. They inspire us to be citizens. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French aristocrat, believed that democratic citizenship was the equivalent of enlightened self-interest. He was also extremely impressed by America’s experiment with democracy, and how well it worked. With observations made by important figures from old countries, it is only fair that we call the American Republic, since it has had such an impact on the world since it was established as well. No wonder we stand