In the beginning, the nation’s Founders were profoundly skeptical of direct democracy. They believed that the “follies” of direct democracy far outweighed any virtues it might possess (Politics in American pg. 76). According to an essay by Rose Wilder Lane (Lane, 1943), “George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe feared democracy.” The founders believed that the Constitution left all other governmental powers to the states (Politics in American 2009 pg. 133). Our Founding Fathers never intended for America to become a democracy. Most of them had served in the American Revolution, either as soldiers in the Continental Army or as part of a legislative body. After the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers made a decision to abolish the Articles of Confederation and write a new constitution to shape a new government.
Even though the Founding Fathers had several ideas of what the government should be, two of the main ideals that influenced the Founding Fathers were the Natural Rights Theory and Classical Republicanism. The former proposed that governments were founded for the purpose of protecting individual rights; however, the latter maintained that governments exist for the common good. The Founding Fathers decided upon a democratic government because they wanted the people’s opinion to have a bearing. They wanted to prevent the government from turning into a monarchy or dictatorship. They believed people should have a voice and the right to choose their own representatives in government. The Founders supported the view that, “Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" (McManus 2001). The Founding Fathers believed unlimited power was a sign of corruption and was dangerous (Politics in America pg. 63). They were committed in the idea where the people needed a strong central government that would share power with the states. Essentially, the new constitution was written to protect the people from a democracy.
The Founding Fathers had learned from the past that a democracy was a form of lawless mob rule. They saw that the ancient Greeks tried a true democracy that had failed and led to chaos. A true democracy would not run efficiently or properly. The Founding Fathers saw our Government as a Republic (McManus 2001). They were realists who believed in limited government and low taxes. Their ideal was to build a unique structure of government to put into action their beliefs in nationalism, limited government, and separation of powers with check and balances, and judicial reviews. The Founding Fathers wanted to generate a strong government while ensuring that the government would not become a threat to liberty or property.
It was also decided that the legislative branch should consist of two houses. So a new constitution was drawn up and once ratified, the process of organizing a new government began. On September 13, 1788, Congress determined that the city of New...