Too Much Democracy?

Essay by Satisfxn November 2003

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Back in 1776 when the United States was only composed of thirteen states and the American people of those states had a fear of a powerful national government the Articles of Confederation were created and put into effect. The Articles of Confederation failed miserably and caused a lot of dispute which then led up to violence. All the problems of the articles were the results of too much democracy in the state governments. The articles caused democratic principles, equality and participation, to be violated. In the sense of equality, the Articles of Confederation did not give the Congress enough power and there were no Judicial or Executive branches. Basically, the Congress could not control what the states and the people in the states did. So in some cases the States took away property and money from loyalists, the people who were loyal to Great Britain but lived in the United States, and this violates the Democratic principle of equality.

As for participation, the articles did not give the Congress enough power and control over the states(as mentioned earlier) so in some cases the people of a state voted in representatives that are more like them. So farmers and other common people would represent the state instead of the usual richer, smarter, property-owners because there are a lot more farmers in the population. In turn, these representatives did a poor job of it's responsibility to Congress. The state did not pay money or not enough money for Congress to do important things that would benefit the country. So participation was violated, the richer people of the states did not get to participate in representing because they were the smaller piece of the population in the state and the people did not participate in getting Congress the money it needed.

During this time of trouble (1776-1787) Democracy interfered with successful government in the sense that people have a voice in what goes on in the government. That is what Democracy is all about, to prove that just take the word Democracy, which comes from the Latin word "demos" which means people. So what happened during this time period was that the people had too much power. This happened because the people were afraid the government would be too powerful so they severely limited it and that caused too much power to be given to them. So Democracy interfered with the government by not letting the government do what it has to do in order to keep the country from falling apart. To expand on that, the Congress ran trading between the US and other nations. People would import goods from other nations and then not pay for them. In turn, causing those nations to not want to trade with the US again and that weakened the already bad economy (because of the war). Another example would be when the national government signed the Treaty of Paris to protect loyalists in the US. Even though it was signed the national government could not live up to the agreement because it could not control the states (who took property away from the loyalists and abusing their rights therefore violating the treaty). This also caused problems and interfered with successful government. In order to have a successful government, both sides, the government and the people, should be in balance.