US Government (Essay Sample)
describe the Us governmentsource..
Expansion of Public Participation in Politics
The United States of America is regarded as the mirror of modern democracy due to the political and accountability environment it has established over the years. One of the aspects crucial in reflecting the democratic environment development of the U.S is the expansion of popular participation in politics in the last two centuries (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Political participation implies a situation in which the mass public undertakes voluntary activities influencing public policy through elected persons responsible for making public policies or directly. Accordingly, popular participation in the U.S politics has expanded significantly in the last two centuries. The inclusion of women to voluntarily engage in activities that can influence public policy is one of the examples demonstrating the expansion of popular participation in U.S politics (Barbour & Wright, 2020).
The 19th amendment of the U.S constitution one hundred years ago marked the expansion of the popular initiative by giving women the right to participate in the election. The 19th amendment provided that the U.S citizens' right to vote should not be abridged or denied by the federal government or the state government based on the sex background of an individual (Barbour & Wright, 2020). The ratification of the U.S constitution marked a critical step towards expanding public participation in politics by offering a significant proportion of the country's population the right to engage in selecting the people involved in making and amending the public policies voluntarily. In the past, before the 19th amendment, women had no right to engage in political activities of electing their representatives responsible for making or changing the public policies (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Thus, the decision to include the women gender in voting rights opened the gate for public participation in political policy changes.
However, the 19th amendment expanding the right of public participation in politics to women failed to acknowledge the right of people of color to gain the same right. The suffragists arguing for the right of women to participate in political activities were harbored by racist divisions on the right of women of color to gain the same and equal political rights (Barbour & Wright, 2020). The denial of the blacks to engage in public participation involving politics is well captured under the Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws enforced segregation of the blacks from the whites in public amenities and activities. Consequently, public participation in politics was limited to the whites by denying the blacks political rights.
Nevertheless, the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, giving all American adults, irrespective of their gender and race, the right to vote, expanded public participation in politics further. The civil rights movements in the 1960's saw the right of the people of color in America recognized (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Subsequently, public participation in politics has expanded significantly in the U.S, as demonstrated by increased civic awareness campaigns on the need to engage in a selection of the representatives, which has seen the country voting for the first black American as their president. Consequently, public participation in politics has expanded immensely in the U.S over the last two centuries.
How the U.S is more Democratic Today
Even though the founders of the new United States envisioned a republic at the country's foundation, democracy was not secured to prevent rule by the minority. Democracy implies a situation in which people have the right to elect their representatives through a majority vote (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Thus, the people hold the supreme power of forming the government directly or indirectly by electing their representatives in a democracy. During the foundation of the U.S as a republic, senators were elected by state legislatures, and women and people of color did not have the voting rights of their representatives. The government and representatives were selected by a few advantaged groups and race to the expense of the rest (Barbour & Wright, 2020). This scenario has changed significantly in contemporary American society by embracing and practicing democracy. The contemporary U.S is more democratic than it was during the foundation due to the widespread and protected voting rights of all people irrespective of their gender and race.
Similarly, democracy is founded on the principles of equality, inclusiveness, freedom of speech and assembly, minority rights, consent, and right to life. These principles of democracy depict the current U.S as more democratic than it was during the foundation period. At the foundation of the U.S, the rights of the minority groups to assemble and speech were highly curtailed to favor of the majority white community (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Equally, inclusiveness and equality to accommodate the disadvantaged in society were lacking. The current scenario has changed significantly, demonstrating democracy in America has expanded. Even though minority rights and inclusiveness, and equality have not been fully recognized, progress has been made to accommodate the minorities in key governance positions over the years (Barbour & Wright, 2020). Consequently, the modern U.S society is more democratic than it was during the foundation period.
Political Consequences of Senate, Electoral College and Gerrymandering and Judicial Review
The continuous existence of the senate and Electoral College institutions and gerrymandering and judicial reviews has mixed consequences on the role of the majorities in the political decision-making (Barbour & Wright, 2020). The existence of the senate has a positive impact on the U.S democracy since it ensures the people representative is by popular vote, which is crucial in promoting democracy. Accordingly, the U.S will not benefit by abolishing this institution since it will have the drawback of denying the popular vote to determine the peoples' representatives.
In contrast, the existence of the Electoral College has a negative consequence on the political decision-making by the majorities. The Electoral College has the effect of determining the country's president based on the number of colleges a given political party has won over the number of votes won by a given candidate. Consequently, the country can get led by a president elected by minority voters if one accomplishes the majority of the Electoral College votes CI
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