Beginning with the Beginning:
When an anxious Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government he and the other Framers created, his immediate response was “A Republic, if you can keep it“! What did he mean by that statement, “if you can keep it”? Why couldn’t we keep it, wasn’t it ours, now? Weren’t we now free from the rule of King George III and his fellow Lobsterbacks. Actually, Franklin was sounding a warning bell to the citizens of the new Republic to be vigilant, to question the intention, to be suspicious of; their newly formed Government.
Why a Republic and not a Democracy? A Republic comes for the Latin term res publica which simply means the public things, or more simply, the ‘law’. The Framers believed laws and morality were the foundation for liberty and self governance. But, what about the Democracy thing. Our Framers were actually leary of a democracy, they were leary of a simple majority running rough-shot over the larger majority. They feared a majority rule would quickly degenerate into a mobocracy first and then ultimately tyranny. They felt the Republic was the best means of fending off the threat of tyranny.
A Warning of Tyrannical proportions.
The Framers just witnessed the effects of a tyrannical government led by King George III. King George III and the British Parliament’s coffers were a bit lighter after the French and Indian War. As a means of raising revenue, King George decided it was best to tax the colonies, for things they were previously getting for free. This outraged the colonists and ultimately caused the War of Independence, which was Independence from British rule. The Colonists no longer wanted to be affiliated with or represented by, the British. Through their strife, the Framers knew what to avoid, they knew the power had to reside in the hands of the people. As a result of their past experience, the framers became the representatives for the New Republic and became the defacto guardians of this nation.
3 equal branches
The Framers created 3 equal branches of Government; Executive (The President), Legislative (Congress), and Judicial (The Supreme Court). Neither branch has any more power than the other. This my friends, was genius forethought. These three equal branches of government have arguably promoted the success of this great nation. I say arguably; since some may disagree that the government had anything to do with the success of this Nation. For some, Her success was in spite of the government. Rather, it was the Government creation of an environment of individual rights and freedoms that allow citizens to be themselves. Allowing individuals to use their talents, treasures, and determination is what has built this great nation. Other folks may not believe this Nation has been a success. They believe classes of people have suffered at the expense of others, and this is directly related to the environment the government created. We will explore these arguments in greater detail in future posts. But for now, this post represents the beginning of a great nation, and I hope its also represents the beginning of a great website.