The United States of America is one of the strongest and oldest democracies in the world. In the eighteenth century, Americans managed to gain their independence and proclaim the basic principles of their governance that are still applied. These norms and values are the ground for the primary laws (the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) and building blocks of other normative acts and policies.
Some of the major ideals of American democracy are liberty, equality, and limited government. Liberty is named one of the highest priorities of the nation in the Declaration of Independence (“Declaration of Independence,” 2020). The security of “the Blessings of Liberty” is mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution (“Constitution of the United States,” 2020). Individual liberties are critical for every American who has the right to express their thoughts freely, practice any religion, and have any political views. At the same time, the principle of equality is also central to American society as individual liberty ends where another person’s rights begin because all people have equal rights. Republicanism is the most appropriate form of government in such societies as people’s freedom cannot be limited by a monarch or any individual who might try to usurp power. People exercise their power by choosing the most knowledgeable and righteous representatives delegating their right to make major decisions regarding the development of the country. At the same time, individual rights are secured by the law and the three branches of power, supported by the system of checks and balances.
The system has proved to be effective as some leaders, organizations, or parties have tried to limit people’s individual rights to gain more power. The judicial system is one of the branches, ensuring that people’s rights are safeguarded, and numerous cases can illustrate this process. For instance, in the case Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Americans managed to question and later abandon segregation in the educational system (“Supreme Court Landmarks,” n.d.). This case had a profound effect on the American society that obtained the ground for further development and creation of aa truly democratic society where segregation was impossible as it limited individual rights.
In numerous cases, the Supreme Court has made decisions to ensure that state governments do not violate individual rights. For instance, in Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Supreme Court ensured New Yorkers right to attend public schools without obligatory exposure to a particular religious practice (“Supreme Court Landmarks,” n.d.). Thus, the violation of the First Amendment was identified, and it was ruled that educational establishments funded by the government could not include prayers in their daily activities. These two cases, as well as various other decisions, shaped the way laws and society was shaped as people referred to the holdings when addressing new challenges modern world had to offer.
In conclusion, it is necessary to state that the American society is based on democratic values and strives for the creation of a free space where people could enjoy liberty, equality and limited government. Americans choose the president, their representatives to the legislative power, establishing the major course of their communities’ and country’s growth. Clearly, numerous gaps still exist, and the USA will have to address them in the future. The established system is instrumental in achieving this goal, and American democracy will remain a role model for other countries and nations.
Constitution of the United States: A transcription. (2020). National Archives. Web.
Declaration of Independence: A transcription. (2020). National Archives. Web.
Supreme Court landmarks. (n.d.). United States Courts. Web.