A Good Start Despite Imperfectness
Today, the American state is considered one of the most successful and stable examples of democracy in the whole world. American citizens can boast of high quality of life, economic and social well being, human rights protection, political freedom, and many other benefits resulting from advanced democratic development secured by carefully worked out legislation. Furthermore, the United States of America actively promotes and safe-guards the democratic ideology in the modern society worldwide.
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The origins of these results are found in the work of the American Founding Fathers, whose work was displayed in two major documents: first, Declaration of Independence, where the Founding Fathers expressed their mistrust to the British authority, and, later, The Constitution, adopted in 1787 by the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.
Despite its historical importance, American constitution was far not the first. The authors that contributed to the appearance of the Constitution were influenced by the ideas and concepts introduced in the constitutions of other countries. The most evident source is Britain. For example, the very concept that the state should use a written document, or the constitution, as a guideline was inherited from the British philosopher John Locke.
According to Kim Lane, the US Constitution was also much influenced by the ideas present in the constitutions of Poland and France, and also by several constitutions that appeared, though for a short time, as a result of European Revolutions of 1848. As it becomes clear, the Founding Fathers have applied a technique, well known in the today’s marketing, called benchmarking: analysis and ethical copying from several sources.
Anyways, American constitutional experience turned out to be very important for the world’s history because it showed how one can construct a long-lasting democratic government on the basis of clever progressive ideas summarized by the adoption of a constitution.
Interesting enough, but the Founding Fathers themselves were not very satisfied with the outcome of their work. For example, the patriarch of the American democracy, Benjamin Franklin, was quite a bit doubted about the efficiency of the constitution. Franklin expressed worry that this document could be corrupted by personal prejudices, selfish interests, errors, and passions of the people who contributed to its creation.
Despite their self-critique, Founding Fathers were of an opinion that the Constitution with all its strengths and weaknesses was the best alternative in the circumstances of that time. The certain weakness of the Constitution was marked by the disorder and instability in the first years after its adoption (rebellions in western Pennsylvania and North Carolina) and the contemporary criticism of several ideas and policies of that time (i.e., slavery approval and genocide against Indians). However, the adoption of the Constitution demonstrated Americans’ ability to be a strong state organized and proved the people’s national identity.
Constitution became a favorable background fro the further economic development, and was upgraded by the politicians of the later generations. —————————————————————————–
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