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Justin Kim

Ambassador School of Global Leadership

Topic 1: Republican Democracy in the United States

17 January, 2017

The Triumph

Towards the inception of all Republican Democratic states, the government establishes a

specific set of bounds and rules with the desire to fulfill these regulations for the entirety of its

existence. As the author of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Jacob Burchkardt stated,

the figures creating this layout for these governing bodies “were a crowd of the most

miscellaneous sort, wearing one face today and another tomorrow” (Burckhardt 1). The origin of

this Republican Democracy had been due to the lack of satisfaction through the colonies’

succumbing to British rule. During the discussion period surrounding the necessity to found a

Democratic government, “Thomas Paine and other founding fathers admired the ancient Greeks,

but they also feared the consequences of such radically direct democracy” (Romeo 3). Upon their

victorious revolution, the majority of the group had desired to create a government which did not

force religion upon its citizens. With this goal in mind, the “leaders” of the colonies had thus

established the system of voting in those candidates which satisfied the desires of the majority of

the voters. Additionally, a primary focal point during the creation of the country had surrounded

“our ideals of liberty and equality, the ringing ‘self-evident truths’ of the Declaration of

Independence, and the measured tones of the Constitution and The Federalist all echo the

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language of the Enlightenment and express its most profound convictions about the political life

and natural rights of mankind” (Staloff 1). Realistically, such ideals have grown further and

further since its implementation in varying legislature.

While the origin-story of the United States’ Republican Democratic government appears

to be a very validated and successful story, many authors feel that the true nature of a

“democracy” is not being fulfilled by the current government. As Paul Cartledge, a professor and

researcher states, “For in ancient Greece elections were considered to be in themselves

oligarchic” (Cartledge 1). This process of electing the most supported governing official does not

sprout from the true beliefs and ideology of Democracy; at least not in the terms of the Ancient

Greeks. The elections which are held to day favor the few, wealthy citizens who maintain the

proper income and financial resources to run a nationwide campaign for months. Unfortunately,

the Ancient Greeks had the right ideology and reasoning behind their lack of support for

elections; “Both republicanism and humanism were in a sense the products of this competition

between the classes” (Najemy 10). Had there been a lack of gap and differential between the

elites and the non-elites, there would be an inability to create a prospering Republican

Democracy; sadly, the presence of such differences remains inevitable, regardless of the specific

time period at hand.

One of the primary facets of a democratic ruling resides in the fact that representation

maintains the ground of power. The majority, for example, hold the power over those elected

officials who then represent the body they are governing. As Przeworski, professor at New York

University states, “Representation is an issue because politicians have goals, interests, and values

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of their own” (Przeworski 1). The quotation depicts the most prominent issue within the United

States’ Republican Democrat at this given time. Numerous times will citizens notice that the

specific official elected has a prerogative which hinders his or her ability to fully vote for a bill.

Lobbying, for example, has become an evident and unhealthy segment of politics for the United

States; medical companies, insurance companies, oil companies, all “donating” millions upon

millions of dollars to specific elected officials. Due do this, the officials have a pre-determined

agenda in regards to various categories which will soon be voted upon. In contrast to the society

of peasants, priests and warriors during the dawn of the Renaissance who, “drew its strength

from individual men rather than from nations or countries” (Plumb 2), much of the United States

has structured its financial “success” on the pockets of other countries. Towards the creation of

many businesses, owners continued to keep their production domestic; unfortunately, as prices

had been far better in other countries, much of the United States companies moved their

production factories elsewhere. With this, the country has grown reliant on the imports and

exports from far more successful countries.

Similar to the rapid growth “in the large and prosperous cities of central Italy” (Gombrich

163), the United States has witnessed an extremely quick growth in respect to the technology

field. Although it appears the entirety of the world has quite quickly developed and adjusted to

the implementation of varying modes of technology, the United States has been one of the most

prominent success stories. The establishment of a Republican Democracy too has witnessed an

amass of transformation and growth in the United States. In general, the United States has

exceeded the requirements and goals which have been established from the initial leaders of the

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country; due to such accomplishments, the government does maintain a duty to promote

democratic values. President Obama, for example, addressed the country of Greece and stated

“we’re indebted to Greece for the most precious of gifts — the truth, the understanding that as

individuals of free will, we have the right and the capacity to govern ourselves” (Obama 1). This

instance alone displays the fulfillment, from President Obama, our country must further doing.

Democratic ruling globally would positively influence and impact the majority of nations

internationally, including the United States. As one of the longest surviving and most successful

democratic regimes, the United States has a responsibility in preaching the governing style

globally.

Works Cited
Liptik, Kevin. “Obama Hails Democracy, Even When It’s Especially Complicated,” CNN, 16

November, 2016. PDF 1-3

Obama, Barack. Remarks by President Obama to the People of Greece, speech, 16

November,2016. PDF 1-10

Przeworski, Adam, Susan C. Stokes, Bernard Manin, Democracy Accountability, and

Representation, Ch. 1 “Election and Representation,” (pp.29-54) PDF 1-15

Romeo, Nick. “What Modern Democracies Didn’t Copy From Ancient Greece,” National

Geographic, 4 November, 2016. PDF 1-4