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No Perfect Form Of Government Essay

1997 words - 8 pages

The struggle to create the perfect government has been prevalent throughout human history, and has resulted in significant turbulence and bloodshed for mankind. Despite thousands of years of progress, the challenge to find the ideal government was still prevalent during the Enlightenment period. During the 18th century, numerous philosophers developed various new ideas about how the ideal government should perform its duties. Philosophers like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, for example, conceived the idea of a government in which the majority rules through a system of democracy. A bloody conflict finally brought some of these ideas into practice. From the American Revolution, the United States was born, and its foundations were based upon many of the principles previously envisioned by these philosophers. The founding fathers envisioned a government that would free them from the oppression of a tyrannical king, perpetually protect the civil liberties of its citizens, and ensure the security and happiness of its people. Today, however, this government has struggled to reach and maintain the ambitious goals set forth by the founding fathers. The democratic system of government conceived by thinkers like John Locke and established by founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson has ultimately failed because it is overly ambitious, creates severe partisanship among the people, and has been unable to provide its citizens with basic necessities.

The founding fathers believed that the ideal government should ensure the happiness and security of its people, but the United States has consistently failed to maintain this vision because of the difficulty of maintaining the delicate balance both of these principles. Thomas Jefferson firmly believed that maintaining both the safety and contentment of citizens was a basic responsibility of government. One of his greatest works, the Declaration of Independence, epitomizes this responsibility. Jefferson thought that government should establish “its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness” (Jefferson 1). Despite Jefferson's idea of the perfect government, however, the modern government of the United States is still far from effectively establishing the “safety and happiness” for its people as described in this passage. For example, although the government has attempted to eradicate it in the past, a large portion of the population still lives on the edge of poverty. The director of a prominent project on poverty at Penn State University describes this situation: “The more complex reality, she said, is that a large swath of the population is barely getting by, making too much to qualify for public assistance but not enough to cover all their expenses. They may not have not crossed the threshold into poverty, but they live on its doorstep” (Bensen). The inability of the government to provide public...

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