Key Terms: Foundations of American Democracy
- The Declaration of Independence: Formal statement written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 declaring the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain.
- Popular sovereignty: The principle that a government derives its power from the consent of the people, primarily through their elected representatives.
- Federalism: A key constitutional principle that calls for the division or separation of power across local, state, and national levels of government.
- Bill of Rights: The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which were added in 1789; protected rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Republic: A form of government in which the power to govern comes not directly from the citizens but rather through representation by elected officials.
- Participatory model: A model of democracy that emphasizes broad citizen participation in government and politics.
- Pluralist model: A model of democracy that emphasizes the need for different organized groups to compete against each other in order to influence policy.
- Federalist 10: Essay in which James Madison argues that the power of factions is best controlled through a republican form of government.
- Factions: Groups of like-minded people who try to influence the government and public policy.
- Elite model: A model of democracy that emphasizes limited participation in politics and civil society.
- Direct democracy: A form of democracy in which the citizens are able to decide on policy and governmental action directly.