Government And Liberty During The American Revolution
A government is the governing body or structure of a nation, usually a country. Governments are usually established through a constitutional process or a hereditary ruling body such as a monarchy. A country has many different types of governments, including direct democratic governments that directly elect their leaders and elected governments that work through a system of command with civilian administrators at various levels. A military government is one that is formed by a military leader appointed by a country’s constitution.
Governments around the world vary in form and function. Some are direct democratic governments, where all political parties choose their leaders and participate in a system of deliberation and voting to decide the outcome of policy. Others are monarchies, which are ruled by one centralized authority. Many modern countries have hybrid forms of democracy and monarchy, especially since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Still, in much of the modern world today, both direct and indirect democracy is practiced. Governments often make decisions through a consultative process of representatives (legislature) and through a system of popular opinion.
Direct democracy is when one person, typically a voter, makes all policy decisions. The framers of the U.S. Constitution didn’t like direct democracy, because it left the power of a king with only a handful of voters. Colonial representatives, such as George Washington, later tried to institute a system of representative and ballot democracy by writing the U.S. Constitution expressly for the people. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate both appoints leaders and determines legislation through the procedure described above, though there is one major difference between the two branches of government.
Oligarchy is when one political party controls all major institutions of government or the resources of a country. For example, the Roman Catholic Church has been considered an aristocracy since the time of its inception, although it is technically not an aristocratic family at all. An oligarchy is often referred to as a plutocratic society, due to the wealthy nature of the governing elite. In some cases, only a few families are wealthy enough to be considered part of an aristocracy. Oligarchies also frequently hold major political power in societies where small parties still have limited political influence.
The monarchy is a form of government in which one person, usually a male, is recognized as the leader of a nation. This concept has faded away in modern times. A true democracy would use various forms of popular election to select leaders. Additionally, many modern countries use different forms of government that are closer to democracy than any form of aristocracy previously known.
Though not all colonists were welcoming to the new European ways, most welcomed the change. They established an experiment that lasted over two centuries. Many of the early colonies were successful in creating a strong central government, which was based upon common consent and legitimacy rather than on aristocratic ranks. The Constitution of the United States was passed by a Constitutional Convention, which was assembled by the Continental Congress, following the French Revolution. It remains one of the greatest constitutional conventions ever assembled in all the history of mankind.