A Review on: American Identity Crisis: A Democracy or a Republic?

by Mahshid Mayar - Date: 2007-01-07 - Word Count: 325 Share This!

Yecke, the distinguished senior fellow for education and social policy at center of the American experiment, in his article on American identity crisis written in August 14, 2005 in Center of the American Experiment magazine tries to make a clear distinction between a democracy and a republic as the American form of government. He argues strongly against the use of these two words interchangeably due to the wide meaning gap between them. While a democracy is, in James Madison's words, "Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths", a republic is "rule by law, and the law can protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority."

The point Yecke is trying to make is that if the Americans had a sound knowledge of the Constitution, they would have been able to understand the very principles of a republican system working in their society; he suggests afterwards to have courses on the American Constitution in order for the youth at least to reshape their understanding of their political system.

The method he has made use of in writing his paper is one of high frequency in the field: comparative analysis. He compares two concepts within a historical context, which evidences his claims rigorously. His data seems to be collected from second-hand sources, documents and books. However, his references to the Constitution make it clear that he has also made use of first-hand documents as well. He has made expansive use of literature survey in the process of data-collection. His well-argued paper gives the common man a deep knowledge of the differences between the two concepts of democracy and republic, by exampling and quoting heartily. Overall, it is an informative paper for those who lack any full knowledge of the American Constitution and helps them out.

Related Tags: identity, republic, us constitution, liberalism


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