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Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discussion in 'The Atrium' started by Dagento, Apr 12, 2008.

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  1. Dagento

    Dagento Cheesehead

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    [align=left]The USA was not a democracy until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed. Which means that the country have just been a free country for 44 years. That means that my country for an example have been a democracy almost twice as long as the U.S.!

    So...the U.S. is acctully not the first modern democracy, not if u look at the modern standards

    Fun fact, at least I think that[/align]
     
  2. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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  3. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    What bozz said and ...

    The original American constitution was a means of managing the interests of the 13 states and define their powers relative to each other and relative to the new entity they jointly created called the federal government. The only mention of anything democratic in the original constitution was in the selection of the House of Representatives in Section 2. The Senate was democratically selected by law only in 1912, but by tradition certainly much earlier, around 1820's. I think most states by the 1820's also had the electorate select the electors for the president and vice president as well. You could say that by the 1820's, the U.S. was somewhat democratic, in the Athenian sense. It was (Athenian) democratic in that as a principle most of the families in the land were enfranchised, in opposition to the idea that only a small number of powerful families should decide issues. It was not Athenian democratic in that power of the electorate was constrained. People only exercised power in the form of a proxy granted to representatives, who also received their proxy as a grant of power from the states (but the states have traditionally also been democratic themselves). Their proxies are further contrained in that their will is "muted" by lengthy election cycles (2, 4, or 6 years variously, not an issue in direct democracy), and that their will was constrained by law (thanks Magna Carta, something that Athens only paid lip service too), and that efforts to circumvent certain laws (the constitution) are limited by requirements of supermajorities. Ours is a constrained democracy, but that's perfectly fine with me. Athens was a true tyranny by the majority with no protections for minorities or individuals. Our constrained democracy is democracy nonetheless because we do not restrict power to an aristocracy, despite some of the efforts of some of the founding fathers (ahem Hamilton).

    The modern effort to expand enfranchisment is a popularization of democracy, in that the effort is to extend (and more importantly, try to guarantee) enfranchisement to more people. This effort is, of course, limited. Children cannot vote, nor can felons in most states, nor non-citizens. There is some line-drawing going on here somewhere. Even if every adult in the national boundaries were given the vote, we could ask why enfranchisement should be limited by geography?

    But, I'd say that the US was democratic around 1810 or 1820.
     
  4. 4thand26

    4thand26 Cheesehead

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    SOMEBODY paid attention in History.
     
  5. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Somebody paid attention when they said 'use google' to collect information when you argue.
     
  6. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    Just to add to what PackOne posted

    The United States of America is not a democracy, our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic.
    (remember the Pledge of Allegiance: "..and to the Republic for which it stands"..)

    The Founding Fathers were concerned with liberty, not democracy.
    In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
    On the contrary, Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution is quite clear:
    "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government.

    The emphasis on democracy in our modern political discourse has no historical or constitutional basis.

    Our Founders instituted a republican system to protect individual rights and property rights from tyranny, regardless of whether the tyrant was a king, a monarchy, a congress, or an unelected mob.
    They believed that a representative government, restrained by the Bill of Rights and divided into three power sharing branches, would balance the competing interests of the population.
    They also knew that unbridled democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny suffered by the colonies under King George.

    In other words, the Founders had no illusions about democracy. Democracy represented unlimited rule by an omnipotent majority, while a constitutionally limited republic was seen as the best system to preserve liberty.

    Inalienable individual liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights would be threatened by the "excesses of democracy."
     
  7. 4thand26

    4thand26 Cheesehead

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    In that case, somebody likes to argue to much.
     
  8. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Um...

    hate to break it to you but we're not a Democracy. We're a Constitutional Republic. I hate Democracies. I fear the tyranny of the majority. What if one day the economy takes a nose dive and suddenly, folks start looking for a scapegoat (wonder if this ever happened in history). With the way I look, glad I live in a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy, because there's a good chance that people who look like me would be that scapegoat.
     
  9. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Whoops. Somebody beat me to it (and said it much more eloquently).

    I guess I should have read the whole thread before replying.

    Good job, Vikes. that was one of the most intelligent things I've heard in awhile. :cool:
     
  10. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I like turtles.
     
  11. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    locking this.

    1. for it's political nature (just a tad?)

    2. because i'm a dirty communist.

    3. i too, like turtles.
     
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