The principle of limited government expands upon the idea of popular sovereignty (the idea that legitimate political power must derive from the consent of the. Learn about natural rights, limited government, and popular sovereignty: key ideas that inform government in the United States. Both popular sovereignty and limited government are powerful tools that were given to us as American citizens that ensure us our liberty.
But what are these democratic ideas and why has the United States continued to hold onto them for more than years? This article describes each of these democratic ideas and explains why the Framers used them as a basis for government. What is a limited government?
After the colonies decided to separate from the British monarchy, the Framers had to develop a system of government that would gain the support of all of the Patriots.
They agreed on a system of limited government. Limited government is a political system in which there are certain restrictions placed on the government to protect individual rights and liberties.
The ideas at the heart of US government
This decision to create a limited government was a deliberate departure from the British monarchy, which the Framers felt violated their rights. They intentionally created a limited government that would have to abide by a set of rules designed by the people of the country. Now that the Framers had a plan for the type of government they were going to have, they had to decide a few things: What are the roles and responsibilities of this government?
How will the government respond to the will of the people? To answer these questions, the Framers turned to political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, whose ideas about what makes a government successful inspired the current system of government in the United States today.
What are natural rights? The main argument in the Declaration of Independence was that the British monarchy violated the natural rights of the American people. Natural rights, sometimes called unalienable rights, are rights the Framers believed all people are born with and can never give up.
Popular sovereignty - Wikipedia
For the government to protect the natural rights of American citizens, people would have to see the government as an authority they must respect. They would enter into a social contract with each other, meaning that American society as a whole would agree to give up some freedoms to be protected by the federal government. Thomas Hobbes, an English political philosopher, theorized that the social contract was the foundation of government.Popular Sovereignty and limited government lesson
If the people did not give up some freedoms, then the government would have no way to rule over them. That is a freedom that you give up so the government can protect you from someone else doing the same thing to you. However, by ensuring that the government was limited, the Founders created a system that protected the freedoms granted to the people. Still, were concerned about a strong central government turning into a tyrannical monarchy again.
Popular sovereignty in the United States The application of the doctrine of popular sovereignty receives particular emphasis in American history, notes historian Christian G. Lutz noted the variety of American applications: To speak of popular sovereignty is to place ultimate authority in the people.
There are a variety of ways in which sovereignty may be expressed. It may be immediate in the sense that the people make the law themselves, or mediated through representatives who are subject to election and recall; it may be ultimate in the sense that the people have a negative or veto over legislation, or it may be something much less dramatic.
- Popular sovereignty
In short, popular sovereignty covers a multitude of institutional possibilities. In each case, however, popular sovereignty assumes the existence of some form of popular consent, and it is for this reason that every definition of republican government implies a theory of consent.
Lutz  [b] The American Revolution marked a departure in the concept of popular sovereignty as it had been discussed and employed in the European historical context.
With their Revolution, Americans substituted the sovereignty in the person of King George IIIwith a collective sovereign—composed of the people.
Popular Sovereignty and Limited Government by Tanairy Ortiz on Prezi
Thenceforth, American revolutionaries generally agreed and were committed to the principle that governments were legitimate only if they rested on popular sovereignty — that is, the sovereignty of the people. Rather, the consent of the governed and the idea of the people as a sovereign had clear 17th and 18th-century intellectual roots in English history. Douglas of Illinois promoted popular sovereignty as a middle position on the slavery issue.
It said that actual residents of territories should be able to decide by voting whether or not slavery would be allowed in the territory.
The federal government did not have to make the decision, and by appealing to democracy Cass and Douglas hoped they could finesse the question of support for or opposition to slavery.
Douglas applied popular sovereignty to Kansas in the Kansas Nebraska Act which passed Congress in