The Founding Fathers: Truly Democratic in Thought
A democratic reformer is defined as someone who creates change that pertains to autonomous ideologies. When this definition is applied to the creators of the Constitution, it is clear that the Founding Fathers were democratic. The document that they shaped was acceptable to the people, incorporated interests of the people, not just themselves, and exhibited the fact that they were democratic politicians. The Constitution was a set of compromises that would be advantageous to the common people and their rights by preventing the encroachment on these rights. It supported the needs of the nation, the need for a change from the Articles of Confederation, while also keeping in mind the importance of people’s liberties. Power was balanced in a way that corruption and encroachment on rights would be prevented. The majority of America benefited, instead of the minority, the well-to-do people. The Founding Fathers were democratic reformers in many ways, and were strongly seen as radical during their time. They agreed to create a strong central government that would be able to function well and unite the thirteen states. They were political geniuses that came up with a democratic system that would benefit the people and protect the people's rights and liberty. The Constitution would bring about several changes to the United States that still affects it today.
Not long after the Articles of Confederation were written, it became clear that they gave too little power to the national government, and too much power to the states. In 1787, Daniel Shays led a minor rebellion that shocked the nation into realizing this. It would push all but one state, Rhode Island, to attend the Philadelphia Convention in order to create the change needed to provide a strong and effective government. Thomas Jefferson stated, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government…” Jefferson, a predominant framer, strongly supported the idea for change, demonstrated in this quote. The common man was who started this rebellion, showing that the common man also desired change. This is what brought about the Constitution. Jefferson would then send his student, Madison, fully prepared to the Convention in order to share his ideals on creating a strong democratic government that would have the strength it needed to properly run a country, while also reserving the rights the people desired. The common man was the one who really showed the desire for change and acted on this, not the wealthy politicians. They were facing issues in almost every aspect of their lives because they had no one to turn to to solve them. Clearly, something had to be done and they saw a need for change.
If a Constitution were going to be made, the people had to agree to it. The delegates always kept that in the back of their minds as they created this document. The states would have to ratify the Constitution, not just the Framers themselves. The people of the United States chose delegates, or representatives, to go to these conventions that were held. This was the base of the idea that it was more about the common people, not the minority, wealthy men. In choosing who went to debate for or against ratification, it demonstrated that the politicians didn’t control everything. They relied on the people and their opinions. They relied on the majority. It was then taken a step further when the delegates decided that the Constitution would not be ratified unless all thirteen states accepted it. They only needed nine of the thirteen, but, in keeping the majority in mind, they saw that it was vital that everyone agreed on adopting the Constitution. The common people in the end gave the delegates the ability to make the Constitution official. This is a democratic principle; the power the rulers have comes from that of the ruled. The Framers gave people choice, another...
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