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How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny: Ideas of Founders

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  The founders of the American democracy originally intended for the government to give power to the people, and yearned to shift the country away from tyranny. How did the Constitution guard against tyranny? Based on these simple guidelines, a participatory democracy deems the best representation of this idea. A participatory democracy gives the people an opportunity to advocate for themselves and their needs, which are then turned over to the federal government for enforcement.

A document that supports this idea is Brutus 1, in which an anti-federalist expressed his opinion that the Constitution would give too much power to the federal government, ultimately leading the country to a corrupt tyranny in which the people would not benefit. This was one of the main concerns of the founders as well: the Constitution guard against tyranny, as they did not want the American people to have to fear a situation similar to the former rule by Britain. However, in the scenario of participatory democracy, the people would not have to fear the unchecked power of a tyrant government. The author advocates the need for individual powers to prevent total control by the federal government. With a participatory government, power is shifted more into the hands of the people, which would fall in favor of the anti-federalists behind Brutus 1.

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Another document that works in favor of this argument is Federalist Paper No. 10, written by James Madison. In this document, Madison outlines the existence of factions and describes their danger to society. He claims that while factions cannot be removed because they are derived from liberty, their effects can be controlled. However, in a participatory democracy factions may not weigh as heavily on the government as they might in say an elitist form of government. This is because, in a participatory government, everyone’s view matters, and each vote counts. While in an elitist government, only the elite has a say in government affairs, so a large faction could catch the interest of the elite, leading to an unbalanced power in terms of elite versus non-elite. Overall, Madison’s interpretation of factions and their impact on government affairs support participatory democracy because it diminishes their power over the people.

So, some may make the argument that an elitist democracy would best fit the founders’ intentions for the American democracy. This form of democracy is typically favored by those who believe wealth dominates politics, as it gives power mostly to the wealthy minority. While it could be argued that this group should make the decisions as they play the largest role in terms of the economy. However, the founders of the American system intended for the power to be held amongst the people as a whole. They wanted everyone to be accounted for, to get the maximum overall support from the country. That's how did the Constitution guard against tyranny. This proves that the participatory form of democracy better fits the ideals of the founders over the elitist form, as it gives power to each individual, rather than the wealthy minority. 

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