Published on January 9, 2008
Principles of American Democracy: Principles of American Democracy By George Cassutto NSL Government How Are Leaders Chosen in American Democracy?: How Are Leaders Chosen in American Democracy? Free elections are used to select representatives of the people. Elections are free and fair, using the secret ballot. Elections can also decide issues and be used to pass laws. When the people vote on a law, this is called a referendum. Democracy Means Rule By The People: Democracy Means Rule By The People The powers of government are based on the consent of the governed. People retain the right to alter or abolish a government that becomes destructive and form a new government. The people can vote for new leaders or recall leaders who have not served the people. How Are Issues Decided?: How Are Issues Decided? Public questions are decided by the will of the majority. Congress and other lawmaking bodies use majority rule to pass laws. The rights of the minority must be protected. Issues are settled through negotiation and compromise. Rule of law guarantees rights and freedoms: Rule of law guarantees rights and freedoms Freedom to live or travel anywhere in the US Freedom to work at any job for which one qualifies. Freedom to marry and raise a family. Freedom to receive free education in public schools. Freedom to join a political party, union, or other legal group. Equality under the law is promised for all citizens. : Equality under the law is promised for all citizens. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the US The 14th Amendment states: Equality Under The Law Discrimination is illegal in housing, jobs, and education. Segregationwas outlawed in 1954 with Brown vs. Board of Education Power In Our Democracy: Power In Our Democracy The organization of government is based on the separation of powers, including the concept of checks and balances. Legislative Branch (Congress): Makes the law Executive Branch (President and cabinet): Enforces the law Judicial Branch (Courts): Explains the law. No branch can become too powerful. Be sure to study!: The citizenship test is in February. The first practice test is in November! Be sure to study!