The term democracy in America does not reflect any specific political party, or philosophy about how government should be run. It has rather been used to describe the system of government which has developed in this country over the last two centuries. The United States of America has gone through many changes since the Articles of Organization was first published. Some have called this evolution of our government a transition to democracy, but I prefer to call it evolution, because it is simply a new way of doing things.
The Articles of Organization created a constitutional form of government, which had its own set of basic rights and privileges, as well as unenforceable laws. The new Constitution that was written by the framers of the Articles of Organization gave way to an extremely democratic form of government. The revolution of 1776 introduced the second phase of democracy in America. A revolution that made many people afraid to join with their fellow Americans, who did not want to take part in any kind of radical change. However, after the declaration of the first constitutional amendment by the Continental Congress, all fears were laid aside.
What was feared by many at that time, and still fears people have today, are aristocratic rule and the rise of absolute power. America was not ready for either of these and the result was the formation of a powerful and democratic middle class. This new middle class, although having no real political power, was nevertheless very important. Without the educated middle class, a democracy could never develop. Aristotle explained how a society could move from a democracy to a aristocratic order, or form of government, based on a series of rankings based on wealth and social status. Aristotle went on to say that a democracy could not survive long enough under aristocratic rule because it would have lost its moral foundation and become corrupt from insensitivity to the poor.
In 1776, after the English King George had died, his successor, a man named Adams, began the American revolution. He had the foresight to include a bill for a national Bank, which was strongly backed by the wealthy English aristocrats and the Virginia planters. He also established the first national government in America through a Constitution which was considered by his contemporaries as a highly undemocratic form of government. The Adamsians hoped that a more enduring form of government could be achieved through a combination of democracy and a constitutional form of government.
The new constitutional government included among its ranks some highly regarded individuals who were to play a vital role in the direction of American politics for the next century. John Adams, John Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the New Dealers effected a greater degree of political power than any of the ancient aristocrats who had ever ruled over the country. However, this new generation of American politicians fell to the path of tycoonservatives. This small group of powerful and influential politicians began to use their wealth to exert a great deal of political power over theieu of the nation.
The emergence of democracy in America has brought with it an enormous amount of optimism for a new world order. For some this is an illusion, as they believe that America is still bound by its old aristocratic way of thinking. But for those who subscribe to the belief that democracy can only come when old aristocratic ways of thinking are no longer in vogue, there is every reason to celebrate America’s transition to democracy.