Democracy in America Themes

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Tyranny of the Majority

In a democracy, tyranny of the majority happens when a legislative body enacts laws that favor the rights of a majority of the electorate and in so doing, diminish the rights of the corresponding minority. The potential for democratic tyranny can be found at every level of government: Municipal, county, state, or country. It can also be enacted by any kind of political majority based on religion, culture, race, wealth, language. Tyranny of the majority can happen even where and when not intended. Tocqueville argues that democracy is a self-correcting political system that can usually fix its own flaws, if enough time has passed and enough political pressure is applied by minorities.

Democratic tyranny is a vice of democracy that cannot be easily avoided. However, the mechanisms of democracy in America allows for an unprecedented degree of self-correction. Many of the constitutional and legal barriers...

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This section contains 1,105 words
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