Alexis de Tocqueville began his studies of American democracy in 1831. At the time, he had no formal training in politics, but was impressed by the American example. He cites Lafayette, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton as examples of young men who had built upon freedom. As a result, he believed that America had a system of government based on freedom and liberty, with the government being led by its people.
The European colonies in America contained elements of democracy, but were different from the American version. Emigrants who fled their mother countries did not have any sense of superiority. The idea that power is a necessary evil did not apply to them. This equality was assured by poverty. Various religious and political disputes also drove rank persons to America.
Today, democracy is generally considered a good thing, but the Founders did not agree, and the American Revolution was far from a democratic victory. In fact, the American system of government had to be fought for repeatedly. Democracies in America were particularly problematic in the 1830s, as Andrew Jackson led a populist Democratic Party that repealed property-based restrictions on voting.
The first duty of leaders is to educate democracy. This includes purifying the morals and directing the energies of people. In the process, they must understand the true interests of people and adapt their government to their needs and era. This requires a new science of politics. The new science is necessary for a modern society.
Another way to engage with democracy is through participation. While voting is the most visible form of participation in our political system, participation in other forms is essential for a democracy to function properly. This participation comes in the form of pressure groups, civic initiatives, and consultative bodies. This type of participation is just as important as voting, so it is important to increase its participation.
Aside from the democratic principle, democracy is also linked to human rights. As stated in Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the will of the people should be the basis for authority in government. This means that democracy is the only form of government that is in harmony with human rights. A democracy allows citizens to exercise their rights freely.
Another aspect of democratic politics that many people think is essential is freedom of thought. This is one of the first core democratic rights. People must have freedom to think, to express their opinions, and to criticize decisions. Without this, democracy is limited. Intolerant societies can’t develop or grow. It is important to allow diverse opinions to be heard and be respected.
While this is true, democracy in America has also had its fair share of problems. For example, in the 1830s, many poor white men gained the right to vote. These changes were not achieved without much conflict. Poor Rhode Islanders formed a militia and threatened violence, which led to a change in voting rights.