How Did 'modern Democracy' Develop In America? What Did The British Do To Anger The Americans After 1763 To Make Them Want To Go To War?

1294 words - 5 pages

The English colonies on the eastern coast of American can be divided into three groups, the North, the Middle Colonies and the South. They all have very different attitudes but they all came here to America to escape from the oppression back in Europe and to develop a new, democratic country. To establish democracy, they all have to face the same enemy, the British. Modern democracy involves the right to vote, check and balance, and an elected representative. The main reasons for development of modern democracy in America were religion, wealth, political freedom, pragmatism and secularism.Religion and political freedom are strongly related to each other because Christianity provided an essential moral foundation for liberal democratic government. The Pilgrims who reached New England in 1620 escaped from religious persecution by the English church and government and the corruptions of Holland. Soon they decided to set up their own government base on Christian ideas, particular the idea of equality. It was one of the early steps towards modern democracy in America. The Pilgrims drew up an important agreement called the Mayflower Compact. The agreement stated that the government would make "just laws and equal" with the consent of the colonists. In practice this meant that adult male Pilgrims met from time to time to elect a governor and a small group to assist him. The Puritans also hated the hierarchy system in the English church. But comparing to the Pilgrims, the Puritans were more ambitious. They thought it was destiny and God's will that brought them to America. Religion and the idea of "city upon the hill" caused them to form a democratic government. "City upon a hill" was proposed by John Winthrop. He meant that the new colony would be an example for the rest of the world of how God meant men and women to live. The Puritans should build their city well and it would become a model which England might follow.Wealth also hindered the movement of democracy. First of all, the colonists in the south went to American hoping to find wealth and success which they found by growing tobacco and slave trade. Once they got wealth, they wanted to protect their property and to gain further profit. The only way to do this is to have a government system where it will concern about people's self interest. As a result, a democratic government is developed where most issues were approved or discussed by the people before it was passed.Pragmatism means human taking practical actions to problems. America is a new, strange land to the colonists. The colonists had to be very flexible to cope with the wilderness. Secularism means the exclusion of religious and supernatural beliefs. These two ideas combined to develop another characteristic of modern democracy that is religious freedom. It was first suggested by William Penn, a Quaker. They believed all men are equal no matter what race or what religion they believed in. The Quakers thought religion does not...

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