These men were anything but novices in practical politics. Government, in this view, is identified with The Peo­ple; and when this belief is ac­cepted, any constitutional device designed to limit government isregarded as an affront to The Peo­ple and an impediment to major­ity rule. What sounds simpler than the suggestion that the human situation would be im­mensely improved by first creat­ing elaborate and powerful gov­ernmental machinery, capable of running society and doing wonder­ful things for The People, and then finding the wisest and best men to operate this mechanism? The famous East India Company was organized in 1600, and was prob­ably the model on which the Vir­ginia Charter of 1606 was framed. When govern­ment was thus limited, it con­formed to the Natural Law, those norms of liberty, equality, and justice which are part of the na­ture of things. The. This book has long been recog­nized as a classic in political phi­losophy, and the document whose virtues it expounded, The Consti­tution of the United States, is still—nominally at least—the law of the land. No scientist would suggest that the validity of the germ theory of dis­ease, for example, should be de­termined by an opinion poll; and similar considerations apply to disputed questions in history, psy­chology, mathematics, and else­where. We need to take a careful look at these com­mercial corporations for coloniza­tion for, in structure and func­tion, they were models used by the colonists in their political experi­ments. example, the I 3th abolished slavery, the I4th made former slaves full-fledged citizens, and the I5th gave them the right to vote. Photo credit: Erika J Mitchell / Shutterstock.com. Adam Smith wrote his Wealth of Nations just as the Revolutionary War was getting started, in 1776, and despite the preoccupation of Americans with their own prob­lems in this time of trouble, sev­eral thousand copies of the book sold here shortly after its publi­cation in England. A 2008 Gallup poll showed that 6% of the U.S. population believe that no god or universal spirit exists and 34% of them reside in Vermont, coincidentally, the state … The men who drafted our basic political document and set a new government in motion represented a people who were exceedingly alert intellectually and politically. MAJORITY RULE Excerpts From Speech By Senator James A. Reed Of Missouri (U.S. Senate, June 4, 1926) I am getting a little tired of hearing about the sacred rights of the majority; that this is a country ruled by the majority; and that the majority has the right to have its way. The idea is simple and easy to grasp, and there is a sort of Gresham‘s Law at work at the mental level which rules that complicated ideas are killed off by the simple, just as bad money drives out the good. The exuberant Patrick Henry went even further. Such is the rationale for much of today’s politicking. A society is free to the ex­tent that the majority will is not frustrated. But if there is no right per se, it cannot be wrong for majorities to do as they please! That led, most notably, to the bicameral structure of our legislative branch. Whoever has the most votes, wins. The customary response is: "The Peo­ple are entitled to get from gov­ernment whatever a majority of them want: from schooling, to job insurance, to cheap electricity. . . The second question is: Who shall rule? Whatever one’s reac­tion to this, he cannot call it equal representation. Would you deny them these bene­fits? Human beings, however, are called upon to make moral deci­sions just because they are hu­man beings. Examples of majority population in a sentence, how to use it. The simple man in the street and the sophisticated reader of "lib­eral" weeklies may have little else in common, but they share a touching faith in the sovereignty of The People. The only exception to this rule is in this sector of political sci­ence. or What devices shall we employ to choose person­nel? But there were two peculiarities of the Puritan religion which did have a direct bearing on Ameri­can political theory and practice—its covenant theology and its con­gregational polity. 19 examples: The study has highlighted several issues about inequalities between ethnic… When he looks at the genesis of today's Black Lives Matter protests, activist and professor Todd Gitlin sees the reaction of a majority against control by a minority. Some decisions require more than a simple majority. No majority had the right, under our original sys­tem, to impose its religion on any minority, or impair its freedom of utterance or deprive it of prop­erty. "The People" is one example of an imposter term. Majority Rule in the United States Majority rule is used in many democracies. The Constitution declared that the President would not be chosen by mass vote. Thus every essential element long after­ward found in the government of the American State appeared in the chartered corporation that started English civilization in America." Let me quote the words of a scholar, R. L. Perry, referring to the Mayflower Compact: "The document represents the application to the affairs of civil government of the philosophy of the church covenant which was the basis of Puritan theology. In other words, about as much time had elapsed between the settle­ment in Jamestown in 1607 and the Philadelphia Convention as be­tween Philadelphia and ourselves. But even here, every scholar leaves himself a loophole. Other essential protections for the minority include free, fair, and regular elections; the separation of powers between branches of the legislature; and the principle of checks and balances. All it has to do is gain control of government and then it has a le­gal cloak behind which a minority of the nation uses the govern­mental machinery to work its will on the rest of the society. Beard in his book, The Rise of American Civilization. Each man will then be free in society to realize his highest potential. The alchemists had sought for a philosopher’s stone which would transmute lead into gold; but the thing which really haunted the mind of, ever since Plato was the search for a philosopher-king. But majority rule is not a moral principle, and the attempt to use it as such won’t work—any more than it would work to try to weigh things by the foot or yard or cal­culate length in terms of pounds. Large numbers of people have lost touch with principles; the old ethical standards have been discarded, and we attempt to makeshift without standards. To emphasize further the un­democratic nature of the Senate, the Constitution provided that its members be appointed by the leg­islators of the various states, not elected by the voters. We need to take a careful look at these com­mercial corporations for coloniza­tion for, in structure and func­tion, they were models used by the colonists in their political experi­ments. Each member of the congregation had a vote in the election of of­ficers, and each congregation was considered as independent and au­tonomous of every other and not subject to the authority of any centralized church hierarchy. And if The People do not like the government they chose in 1960, they need not revolt; all they have to do is convince a majority of voters to their way of thinking and they’ll get the government they want." Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. Take a random sampling of our citizenry and ask them to explain what they mean when they declare that this is a free society. in 1620. What sounds simpler than the suggestion that the human situation would be im­mensely improved by first creat­ing elaborate and powerful gov­ernmental machinery, capable of running society and doing wonder­ful things for The People, and then finding the wisest and best men to operate this mechanism? It was this Charter which created the London and Plymouth com­panies which led to the settle­ments at Jamestown in 1607 and Plymouth in 1620. 1. , The People make their opinions felt in the determination of policy. It lacks a fundamental understanding of American government. Majority rule provides a better approach to governance than its alternative 2. He had, in their view, certain inherent rights derived from his Creator, which it was the function of government to re­spect and protect. "An elective des­potism is not the government we fought for," wrote, The end they fought for was individual liberty within the framework of a moral and legal order, and to this end they cre­ated a number of antimajoritari­an institutions. What it all comes down to is that democracy requires minority rights as much as it does majority rule. Four such devices are available. The purpose of this article is to examine critically the concept and actual practice of 'majority rule … Two of the past three presidents received fewer votes than their opponent. The fourth form is the one that seems natural to us: Impose a few qualifications for the privi­lege of voting, and then by ballot­ing let the voters freely choose their representatives, the candi­date who gets the majority of votes being the winner. Such, in briefest outline, was the early American answer to the primordial political question: What shall be the extent of rule? And then, by letter writing, lob­bying, and delegations to Washington, The People make their opinions felt in the determination of policy. While historians have viewed “Democracy” as a rich source about the age of Andrew Jackson, Tocqueville was more of a political thinker than a historian. De Tocqueville, in a footnote, gives two examples of tyrannical behavior of political majorities: a lynch mob killing anti-war journalists during the War of 1812 and escaping any legal consequences; and the strange spectacle in Pennsylvania of black people, who were legally entitled to vote, not doing so. Thus every essential element long after­ward found in the government of the, appeared in the chartered corporation that started English civilization in, These chartered companies were also missionary enterprises. This is the proper place to use majority rule, in dealing with the second of the two main political questions. One hundred and seventy-five years ago, in the spring of 1787, a body of delegates met in. However, the principle of majority rule ensures that decisions can be made and minorities can’t prevent the majority from deciding an issue or election. Their very existence de­pended on the powerful and unre­mitted assertion of that claim. One hundred and seventy-five years ago, in the spring of 1787, a body of delegates met in Phila­delphia. have one senator for every hundred thous­and of them. It was this Charter which created the, com­panies which led to the settle­ments at. “Minority rule” on this scale is unprecedented in recent American history, and many liberals are either concerned or angry. They represented twelve of the thirteen colonies, Rhode Island abstaining. Cried he: "We are, Sir, in a state of nature!". But here we hit an obstacle, for in speaking of "the right" we have assumed the real existence of an independent moral principle, im­plying that something may be ethically right or ethically wrong whatever its measure of popular support—or lack of support. The famous East India Company was organized in 1600, and was prob­ably the model on which the Vir­ginia Charter of 1606 was framed. . One of them, James Wilson, wrote: "The United States exhibit to the world the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation, unattacked by external force, unconvulsed by do­mestic insurrection, assembling voluntarily, deliberating fully, and deciding calmly, concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live." President. The second question has to do with the choice of personnel. The answers of the Found­ing Fathers constitute a political breakthrough, a new departure in government. There are some practical issues that need to be resolved in order to apply majority rule and minority rights. One senator in my state of New York represents about 8,000,000 people; in the state of Washington, one senator repre­sents about 1,400,000 people. So whenever you hear anyone refer to "The People," put your hand on your wallet. What had their experience taught them? Their Dissenter’s faith disposed them to individual liberty, and in the Natural Law they had a device to limit arbitrary rule. abstaining. Furthermore, our political leaders are not selected from among a few aristocratic families; here anybody can run for political office, and most anybody can become President. It is standard journalistic pro­cedure to divide the world into two camps. This ancient dream of giving the wisest and best men unlimited political power in order to accom­plish enormous good has night­mare possibilities; the dream goes sour periodically, and the subjects who get it in the neck hope that the next king will be better than his predecessor. And not without reason, when the matter is viewed historically. I get a standardized reaction. We amended the Constitution to change this procedure. ", Our language contains many "imposter terms"—to use old Jeremy Bentham’s label—and the jargon of politics is particularly rich in examples. This is because we take it for granted that the constitution of things is such that there is only one valid answer to two plus two; namely, four. Are you opposed to majority rule? The idea was to insu­late this office from the popular will. If democracy is a system of government in which every citi­zen is equally represented, and where policy is determined by sampling majority opinion, then the Founding Fathers tried to circumvent "democracy"—in this sense—and succeeded. Majority rule presented a conundrum to the founders of America precisely because although majority rule was needed in order for the government to function and the principle of minority rule interfered with democracy, the majority in power could oppress a … A rather silly European Social­ist, presumably with this in mind, referred to our Constitution as "very nearly a plot against the common people." It is hard for the majority to rule in the United States government, even with the system of checks and balances. But until a restoration occurs, we as a peo­ple will probably continue to re­sort to the expedient of "majority rule" to sanction any governmen­tal action an actual minority of the voters wants. The first is determination by bloodline: If your father is king, you’ll be king when he dies, and your son will rule in your place. This procedure goes on today and it has gone on for a long time. The philosopher, according to an old joke, is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there; the theologian, on the other hand, finds the cat! If there are no norms or principles as part of the nature of things, then man-made assumptions are all we have to go on. This is the proper place to use majority rule, in dealing with the second of the two main political questions. For minority rule to makes us into a one-party country, traditional America must die. This fact has been noted by Charles A. The simple man in the street and the sophisticated reader of "lib­eral" weeklies may have little else in common, but they share a touching faith in the sovereignty of The People. From the Cambridge English Corpus He then explores how the protection of minorities through constitutional measures may develop over time, when the constitution is amendable under majority rule . Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Civics Nation, Majority rule is a concept inherent in any democracy, Principles of Democracy: Free and Fair Elections, Former DNI Confirms Russia Tipped the 2016 Election, Expert Analysis: President Trump is Subverting Democratic Norms, Senate Republicans Refute President’s ‘Deep State’ Claims. They did not believe in, nor did they prac­tice, what we have come to call "religious toleration." In other words, about as much time had elapsed between the settle­ment in, in 1607 and the Philadelphia Convention as be­tween. This theology found in the Scriptures the right of men to associate and covenant to form a church and civil government and to choose their own officers to administer both religious and civil affairs. The Soviet bloc comprises one camp, whose member nations are run along totalitarian lines. One example is the case of Plessy v. Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. When gov­ernment keeps the peace by curb­ing peace breakers, men may go freely about their productive and creative pursuits, cooperating and competing with one another as to each of them seems best. But does to­day’s popular notion of a free so­ciety have anything in common with the model erected by the venerable Founding Fathers? Let govern­ment administer justice among men and otherwise keep hands off; men will be free then to adminis­ter their own affairs. When the Founding Fathers sat down in Philadelphia to draw up a new constitution, the American adven­ture was already 180 years old. Majorities for or against this or that measure are often manufac­tured at will. To be sure, majority rule is a key principle of the U.S. government. The people who adopted the Constitution as their organic law were well qualified to make it work: they knew political theory; they were experienced with colo­nial charters, compacts, and self-government; and their religion conduced to individual liberty. Majority rule is where a group, party, or faction has more than half the votes (Websters). A French aristocrat visits Jacksonian America In 1831, an ambitious and unusually perceptive twenty-five-year-old French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States. Facts about Majority Rule impress us with a decision supported by more than 50 percent of the votes. The eighteenth century thinkers who conceived and launched the Amer­ican System envisioned a society of free men, and however ques­tionable some of our current be­liefs and practices may be, we still honor their memory. 11 Protestantism, even the most co d and passive, is a sort of dissent, But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refine­ment on the principle of resist­ance: it is the dissidence of dis­sent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.". He was the founder and coordinator of the Remnant, a fellowship of conservative and libertarian ministers. Our system is designed around a simple, yet powerful, principle: majority rules, minority rights. The authors of the Constitution had a high regard for the individ­ual citizen. The pages of history clearly point out that these are the roads to human deterioration. The first is determination by bloodline: If your father is king, you’ll be king when he dies, and your son will rule in your place. The tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness of majority rule in which the majority of an electorate can and … People obviously exist, but "The People" is a fiction introduced into a discussion to mislead. His nine-month sojourn led to the writing of Democracy in America, universally regarded as one of the most influential books ever written. For example, some legislatures use majority rule on standard legislative business but require a two-thirds majority to change its own rules. This concept has several functions, most important of which is that it establishes a clear mechanism for making decisions: a majority of 50 percent plus one decides a question or issue. The non-Soviet bloc, by contrast, is called The Free World. The alchemists had sought for a philosopher’s stone which would transmute lead into gold; but the thing which really haunted the mind of Europe ever since Plato was the search for a philosopher-king. I get a standardized reaction. A man of wide reading and high culture, Opitz was for many years on the staff of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. Plato’s words are found in Book V of The Re­public: "Until philosophers are, kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils—no, nor the hu­man race, as I believe—and then only will this our State have a pos­sibility of life and behold the light of day. The people are Protestants, and of that kind which is the most ad­verse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. The colonizers who came to these shores were Dissenters from the Established Church in. Indeed, the United States has long used a majority system as the basis for political decision-making… Adam Smith wrote his Wealth of Nations just as the Revolutionary War was getting started, in 1776, and despite the preoccupation of Americans with their own prob­lems in this time of trouble, sev­eral thousand copies of the book sold here shortly after its publi­cation in. This "hardshell" aspect of Puri­tan and Separatist religion has no discernible political significance; history bears witness to hundreds of crusading faiths for which the adherents were willing to suffer and, upon occasion, to persecute. America has become a nation of minority rule. The Senate is one instance. What Shall Be Government’s Scope? The lucky people of Nevada have one senator for every hundred thous­and of them. Please, enable JavaScript and reload the page to enjoy our modern features. So, desperately trying to find some basis for making moral decisions—as an alternative to the naked rule of arbitrary might—our contemporaries are driven to the expedient of majority rule. The colonizers who came to these shores were Dissenters from the Established Church in England, seeking here a haven where they might worship God according to their own convictions. The second is determination by lot—drawing straws—used for a considerable period in, . It was never intended, however, to be the only principle. The Americans scrapped this machinery, lock, stock, and barrel. The idea is an intriguing one and, judging by the record of his­tory, it is irresistibly fascinating to most people. There was a population of some three million along the Atlantic seaboard in the latter part of the eighteenth century, largely rural. The fourth form is the one that seems natural to us: Impose a few qualifications for the privi­lege of voting, and then by ballot­ing let the voters freely choose their representatives, the candi­date who gets the majority of votes being the winner. But under the new dispensa­tion "The Majority" is almighty. It was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that is now the United States of America, and it remained in force until 1691. Robert’s Rules received major revisions in 1915 and 1970, and the current edition (the 11th) was published in 2011. Theoriz­ings about the "rights of private conscience" would have fallen up­on deaf ears; the freedom they sought was freedom to worship as they chose, not every man’s free­dom to do as he pleased. Take a random sampling of our citizenry and ask them to explain what they mean when they declare that this is a free society. "Amer­ica is free," most of them would say, "because The People in free elections choose their own leaders. It is the function of govern­ment, they said in effect, to act as an umpire who enforces the agreed upon rules. Second, we put aside the educational and spiritual values of doing well the little menial or unpleasant tasks that must be done. Election - Election - Plurality and majority systems: The plurality system is the simplest means of determining the outcome of an election. This is a per­suasion not only favorable to lib­erty, but built upon it… the dissenting interests have sprung up in direct opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world, and could justify that opposition only on a strong claim to natural lib­erty. Ask theperson who tells us that majority rule should reign everywhere if he believes that the majority in this country has the right to de­cide for everyone what church we should all be forced to join. In giving this sort of an an­swer, the Founding Fathers broke with a long and powerful Euro­pean tradition. Therefore, keep government limited to the admin­istration of justice and the de­fense of life and property and you deprive it of its propensity for evil. This fact has been noted by Charles A. Robert’s Rules of Order is the most widely used parliamentary procedure manual in the United States. Many colonists were at home in the realm of ideas, and thus were ready, when the time came, with a rationale for liberty based on an acquaintance with its literature as far back as Greece, Rome, and Is­rael. The real intent of the document was quite the op­posite: it was to protect the com­mon people—which includes just about all of us—from political ad­venturers. The legislature of each state was to determine the manner of choosing electors who, in turn, would meet and select a President. The second is determination by lot—drawing straws—used for a considerable period in Athens. Once we have answered this one prop­erly, a workable device for choos­ing personnel is easy to find. Thus was majoritarianism invoked, and under its guise, things have been done to individ­uals which they would never have tolerated from any monarch. To win, a candidate need only poll more votes than any other single opponent; he need not, as required by the majority formula, poll more votes than the combined opposition. They did not believe in, nor did they prac­tice, what we have come to call "religious toleration." And then there is the Supreme Court. Typically, when we talk about “government by the people,” we mean government by majority rule. . Theoretically, a bill might have the unanimous support of the voters, be passed into law by the Congress, and then be thrown out by the Court on the grounds of unconstitutionality. The first Congress under the new Constitution met at New York on March 4th, 1789. Most people favor social se­curity, and under our system of government where The People are sovereign they should have it. They were not easy-going people, nor were they easy to live with; but perhaps it took a certain kind of fanaticism to make the ocean voy­age in the first place and, in the second place, to survive in an ex­tremely hazardous situation. The non-Soviet bloc, by contrast, is called The Free World. Four such devices are available. Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published on FEE.org, It is standard journalistic pro­cedure to divide the world into two camps. This is what it means to live in a democracy." Third, we advance the false theory of entitlement regardless of how one has loafed and mismanaged personal affairs. Third, is the device of aristoc­racy, where a few families com­prise the ruling caste, as in Ven­ice. Just so we’re all working with the same concept of what exactly the word “democracy” means, Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary defines democracy as, “Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them either directly or through their elected agents… a state of society characterized by nominal equality of rights and privileges.”. Finally, there needs to be mutual agreement on how minority groups can be guaranteed political and social representation within the concept of democracy. (p. 37). The lucky people of. This makes it difficult for the majority to wield absolute power and tyrannize the minority. First we attack the morality of honest effort because it has reaped materialistic rewards. Democracy is defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary as: Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them either directly or through their elected agents . searched in vain for a philosopher-king, but never found him; we of the mod­ern world have found our philos­opher-king, and his name is The People, expressing itself through majority rule. James Madison once wrote, “It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.”.

majority rule examples in america

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