Were the Federalists Democratic?

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Were the Federalists Democratic?

The idea of democracy is both vague and is often over-simplified to mean "majority rules". In theory, such a notion sounds both just and efficient. However, in practice, the concept of "majority rules" is much more complex and often difficult to implement. Modern-day versions of democracy, such as the one utilized in the United States, simply guarantees a person's right to voice his or her opinion in all matters involving the public. American democracy merely provides a forum for the expression of such viewpoints; it does not guarantee the ability of any individual to bring about change. The Federalists, who were greatly responsible for the ratification of the beloved Constitution of the United States, recognized the impracticality of Jefferson's town-hall democracy and simple "majority rules" and settled on a type of government which could merely guarantee an individual's right to representation. In some regards, the Federalists were pragmatic democrats-supporters of democracy who recognized the shortcomings of the voting public while at the same time suggested certain instruments to protect John Q. Public. The Federalists were opposite of idealists; they were realists. And it is this realism that is directly responsible for the success of democracy within the United States.

Democracy, the ideal, is held dear by most Americans. "What Americans would not do…for the vindication of a fundamental first principle: the right of the people to determine their own future," comments Albert R. Papa in his article "The Allure of Civics Book Democracy". While nearly all Americans recognize the benefits of a democratic nation, the Federalists maintain that often times, minority and ma...

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...stem is to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a few, the presidential veto hardly accomplishes this goal. Although the president cannot create new law, his ability to prevent new law resembles the power held by a dictator. How democratic can one man's vote be?

The Federalists believed in a form of government that is not consistent with the textbook definition of "majority rules". They believed in a modified version of democracy- a pragmatic type of democracy. They believed in a democracy which sometimes neglects the majority vote in order to ensure the stability of American government. They believed in a democracy which does not blindly put all trust within its elected officials. They believed in a democracy which nurtures the free soul of the American public. Such a democracy is alive and well in the United States. Is America democratic?
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