Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
John Adams (left), the second U.S. president, and Thomas Jefferson (center), the third U.S. president, both inherited land from their fathers. (Public Domain). VOA

The founders expected the common people, the poor and uneducated, to participate indirectly, through their local government, at town halls and meetings, and through protest actions like boycotts. Some of the founders were particularly concerned about populism and mob rule. “These were the kinds [of people] that thought that democracy was a dirty word. Even John Adams said stuff like that. He didn’t want poor people to vote, he didn’t want women to vote,” Wehrman says.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.


Bruce Kuklick, a professor of American history emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, says the framers of the Constitution had a very different idea of democracy than Americans do today. “The founders didn’t want this sort of democracy at all. The Constitution is written so that citizenship rights are very, very limited,” he says. “They worried about democracy … It was a bad form of government because once you let everybody participate, then you’re likely to elect a demagogue. You’re likely to have people come to power who appeal to the frenzy of the masses. That idea is long gone.”

Wehrman points out that the framers of the Constitution saw to it that only one part of one branch of the federal government, the House of Representatives, is popularly elected by the people. The Electoral College chooses the president, the commander in chief selects the Supreme Court justices and, originally, senators were selected by state legislatures.


George Washington, president of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and America’s first U.S. president, was born into a landowning family and married a wealthy widow. VOA

“It’s another attempt to kind of whittle away at the direct participation of a large group of people in the political process,” Kuklick says. “So there are all these other constraints that they write into the Constitution to shore up what they think might be a leaky vessel, where too many ignorant, poor people get the right to vote.”

It was only after the 1913 ratification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution that U.S. senators were elected by direct popular vote. “Clearly, the Constitution was written and enacted to pull back some of the actions that were taken by state legislatures. People like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton thought that the state legislatures and voters in most states had gone too far, that too many people were participating in politics, too many people were voting,” says Wehrman.

For example, New Jersey gave the right to vote to residents who could reach a certain property ownership threshold. This included women and African Americans, who were able to vote from 1776 until 1807 when the state restricted voting rights to white men.

“They (the founders) thought that there were too many voices in the state legislatures, that states were becoming too radical, that they were beholden to the interests of the common man when they needed to be more reserved and more accommodating to wealthy, educated business-interest types,” Wehrman says.


James Madison, called the “Father of the Constitution” by his contemporaries, was born into wealth and went on to become the fourth U.S. president. VOA

So what would people like Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and the other framers of the Constitution think about America today? “I think they would all be sort of delighted that the general framework that they created is still in action,” Wehrman says.

And they might even be open to change. After all, they did write in a process for changing or amending the Constitution. They even availed themselves of that process with the ratification in 1804 of the 12th Amendment, which established separate Electoral College votes for president and vice president. The tweak kept political adversaries from opposing parties from serving in the same administration as president and vice president. Even so, Kuklick says, the Founding Fathers would be considered reactionaries by today’s standards.

ALSO READ: Consumers in US Spend Average USD $138 on iPhone Apps in 2020: Report

“[They] didn’t want what came to be,” Kuklick says. “And one of the amazing transformations of the United States in the 19th century is that we go from having this very, very limited view of participation by the people in the government, to the one that people just now completely accept as being the democratic way.”

Although democracy in action today might not be exactly what the founders envisioned, money and power do continue to play a vital role in U.S. politics. And, given that the vast majority of American presidents and founding fathers have been independently wealthy, the founders’ aim of reserving a prominent place in government for the rich has essentially been realized. (VOA/SP)


Popular

South Korean game developer has introduced a new initiative for Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) which will enable a new level of parental control via time limitations and OTP confirmation. The 'Game Responsibly' initiative will also show warning messages along with break reminders, game limits and more. "Every player, below the age of 18, needs to register a parent or a guardian before they start playing for the first time. An OTP will be sent to the registered person's number, post which the minor is allowed to play the game," the company said in a statement.

Some games can get intense and make players lose track of time. However, with timely break-time reminders, the developer has made sure players get the required downtime. These reminders will help them look up from their game and get back to real life, maintaining a healthy game-life balance. In addition, with a strict gameplay limit in place players below 18 years must not indulge in gaming for more than 3 hours per day. This automatically helps them treat gaming as an activity performed in moderation.

The brand has also set an in-game daily spend limit of Rs 7,000 that automatically stops them from overspending and overgaming. Krafton recently announced that it has removed 25 lakh accounts in just over a month to eradicate cheating on Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). Since the last announcement, between October 1 and November 10, Krafton banned 25,19,692 accounts permanently and 7,06,319 temporarily. "The company has cleaned out most of the cheaters in the game, making BGMI a much more fun experience, and will continue to take whatever step is necessary to keep BGMI fair and fun," it claimed. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Flickr

Proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan.

By Vinoda Kumary

The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.

Common Lung Disorders

Bronchial Asthma
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.

An Asthma patient taking medication using an inhaler Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by sk on Unsplash

By Olivia Sarkar

Did you know that over 40-year-olds might lose up to 8 per cent of their muscular mass every decade? After the age of 70, the pace of decrease may double. Sarcopenia, or advanced muscle loss, affects roughly one-third of persons over the age of 50. Muscles are crucial for organ function, skin health, immunity and metabolism, as well as for common physical acts like picking things up, reaching for something, opening a jar or getting out of a chair. To put it another way, keeping muscle mass as you become older is critical to living a happy and healthy life. "Muscle loss is an ageing factor that is rarely discussed, and people accept its signs, such as a loss of strength and energy, as a natural part of ageing," says Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director Medical and Scientific Affairs at Abbott Nutrition. "However, muscle fitness can often predict how we will age and remain active and independent."

people exercising Muscle loss is an ageing factor that is rarely discussed, and people accept its signs, such as a loss of strength and energy, as a natural part of ageing. | Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less