Politics, Democracy, And The American People

Indicate here honestly when you have read the whole of Volkomor Chapter 1. As you work read through this chapter, also give your rolling analysis of it here. Why do you think that Volkomer insists on calling the United States a “representative democracy,” instead of using the term “a republic” preferred by most of the United States’s founders? Even if you entered this course with some familiarity with the U.S. government, what in this chapter most surprised you?

On the difference between a “democracy” and a “republic,” and whether it makes a difference which of these two terms we use when we think of government in the United States, consider this:

Now that we are clear on the difference, and the fact that in a republic there is a mutual responsibility of citizens and representatives to hold each other accountable to the rule of law, we are in a position to appreciate a warning that Benjamin Franklin offered in 1787 after he and other delegates exited the Pennsylvania State House, later dubbed Independence Hall (Links to an external site.) , having successfully crafted the proposed U.S. Constitution there. Franklin was asked by a bystander what sort of government the framers had given to the United States. “A republic,” he responded, and then added pointedly, “if you can keep it.”


As you summarize here what you have learned in Volkomer Chapter 1, consider the role that “we the people” in every generation must play if the republic is to be kept, if it is to be maintained healthy and whole. What must be your role in so keeping it?

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