"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
- John Adams, April 15, 1814 letter to John Taylor.
"There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is "an empire of laws, and not of men." That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics."
- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776.
"Virtue and Simplicity of Manners are indispensably necessary in a Republic among all orders and Degrees of Men. But there is so much Rascallity, so much Venality and Corruption, so much Avarice and Ambition such a Rage for Profit and Commerce among all Ranks and Degrees of Men even in America, that I sometimes doubt whether there is public Virtue enough to Support a Republic. There are two Vices most detestably predominant in every Part of America that I have yet seen which are as incompatible with the Spirit of a Commonwealth, as Light is with Darkness; I mean Servility and Flattery. A genuine Republican can no more fawn and cringe than he can domineer. Shew me the American who cannot do all. I know two or Three, I think, and very few more. However, it is the Part of a great Politician to make the Character of his People, to extinguish among them the Follies and Vices that he sees, and to create in them the Virtues and Abilities which he sees wanting. I wish I was sure that America has one such Politician but I fear she has not."
- John Adams, Jan. 8, 1776 letter to Mercy Warren. [Warren-Adams Letters, Being Chiefly a Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. Vol. 2, 1778--1814. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 73. [Boston:] Massachusetts Historical Society, 1925.]
"The history of ancient and modern republics had taught them that many of the evils which those republics suffered arose from the want of a certain balance, and that mutual control indispensable to a wise administration. They were convinced that popular assemblies are frequently misguided by ignorance, by sudden impulses, and the intrigues of ambitious men; and that some firm barrier against these operations was necessary. They, therefore, instituted your Senate."-- Alexander Hamilton, New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788.
1. a. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.
b. A nation that has such a political order.
2. a. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
There seems to be a popular notion that the United States is a democracy. This notion of a democracy is FALSE(i). For it is specifically shown in The Federalist Papers(ii), that a democracy is abhorrent to the Framers Intentions. It is demonstrated, in The Federalist, how a democracy could easily subvert the Principles laid out, by a simple majority vote(iii). The Framers Intentions were for a Constitutional Republican(iv) form of government. With each state Constituted under the Federal, to form a Union(v). The body of the Union being the states, and the head being the federal. The objective was for the RULE of LAW, based upon Principles designed to bind the Union together. The United States of America has a form of government in which the Peoples representives are elected by Popular democratic vote. The United States Constitution with the attached Amendments, IS The RULE of LAW for Our Country. And ALL levels of government and We The People are BOUND by the aforementioned RULE of LAW without exception(vi). Every state that joined the Union, AGREED to be BOUND by this RULE of LAW - The Constitution of The United STATES of America.
"The merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it."
- Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York in 1863 to 1864.(Seymour became a leading Northern opponent of President Abraham Lincoln's administration during the American Civil War. Seymour protested Lincoln's restriction of civil liberties during the Civil War and the Union's military draft. He did, however, remain loyal to the Union).
The following explains why we are a Constitutional Republic, with democratically elected representation:
From Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.
- A government of the masses.
- Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
- Results in mobocracy.
- Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
- Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
- Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
- Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
- Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
- A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
- Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
- Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
- Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.
"The additional securities to republican government, to liberty and to property, to be derived from the adoption of the plan under consideration, consist chiefly in the restraints which the preservation of the Union will impose on local factions and insurrections, and on the ambition of powerful individuals in single States, who may acquire credit and influence enough, from leaders and favorites, to become the despots of the people; in the diminution of the opportunities to foreign intrigue, which the dissolution of the Confederacy would invite and facilitate; in the prevention of extensive military establishments, which could not fail to grow out of wars between the States in a disunited situation; in the express guaranty of a republican form of government to each; in the absolute and universal exclusion of titles of nobility; and in the precautions against the repetition of those practices on the part of the State governments which have undermined the foundations of property and credit, have planted mutual distrust in the breasts of all classes of citizens, and have occasioned an almost universal prostration of morals."
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 85
(i) "From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
"A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union."
"The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State."
"In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists."
- James Madison, Federalist #10
"The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible."
- James Madison, Federalist #39
(ii) "THERE is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous Executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles. Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy. Every man the least conversant in Roman story, knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable title of Dictator, as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny, and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government, as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome.
There can be no need, however, to multiply arguments or examples on this head. A feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.
Taking it for granted, therefore, that all men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic Executive, it will only remain to inquire, what are the ingredients which constitute this energy? How far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense? And how far does this combination characterize the plan which has been reported by the convention?
The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive are, first, unity; secondly, duration; thirdly, an adequate provision for its support; fourthly, competent powers.
The ingredients which constitute safety in the repub lican sense are, first, a due dependence on the people, secondly, a due responsibility.
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70
(iii) "...the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere and considerate friends of republican government, since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the Union may be formed into more circumscribed Confederacies, or States oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated: the best security, UNDER THE REPUBLICAN FORMS, FOR THE RIGHTS OF EVERY CLASS OF CITIZENS, WILL BE DIMINISGED: and consequently the stability and independence of some member of the government, the only other security, must be proportionately increased. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradnally induced, by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful."
- James Madison, Federalist #51
(iv) Who are the Best Keepers of the People's Liberties? by James Madison, published on December 20, 1792, in the The National Gazette of Philadelphia.
(v) "WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the diseases of faction, which have proved fatal to other popular governments, and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own." - James Madison, Federalist No. 14