What is a democracy?

The word democracy comes from the ancient Greek word demokratia.Demo means “the people” and kratia means “to rule.” A democracy, then, is a form of government in which the people rule. The power lies in the hands of the people, who may either govern directly or govern indirectly by electing representatives. The American government is a democracy, and the Constitution of the United States ensures this. Under this “social contract” the people of the United States established a government, gave it its powers, placed upon it certain limitations, set up its structure, and provided the means of control over it. At the heart of democracy lies the concept of “popular sovereignty” the idea that the people are the supreme authority, or sovereignty, and that authority rests in the body of citizens, not one supreme ruler.


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