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This principle is highlighted in the pledge of allegiance when it says:
I pledge allegiance to the flag Of the United States of America and to the Republic For which it [the flag] stands…. There are many reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government rather than a democracy. Theoretically, a democracy requires the full participation of the masses of the people in the legislative or decision making processes of government. This has never worked because the people become so occupied with their daily tasks that they will not properly study the issues, nor will they take the time to participate in extensive hearings before the vote is taken. The Greeks tried to use democratic mass participation in the government of their city-states, and each time it ended in tyranny.
A Democracy and a Republic Compared: A democracy becomes increasingly unwieldy and inefficient as the population grows. A republic, on the other hand, governs through elected representatives and can be expanded indefinitely. James Madison contrasted these two systems when he wrote: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths…. “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking
A Republic Defined: To make his position completely clear, Madison offered a concise definition of a republic as follows: “We may define a republic to be … a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of
the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.
Modern Emphasis on “Democracy”
During the early 1900s an ideological war erupted, and the word “democracy” became one of the casualties. Today, the average American uses the term “democracy” to describe America’s traditional Constitutional republic. But technically speaking, it is not. The Founders had hoped that their descendants would maintain a clear distinction between a democracy and a republic.
An excerpt from: The Five Thousand Year Leap . Written by: W.Cleon Skousen.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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