For this essay you have the choice between two prompts and you can pick the one that will be easiest and develop a strong paper.
1. Why did the Founders want to establish a republic rather than a (direct) democracy or populist form of government? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of government? If ‘the people’ were to (re)found the U.S. today by re/writing the Constitution (their social contract), which form of government would ‘they’ most likely choose, and why? What kind of persons do they actually elect and want in office? Should all of the ‘people’ be involved in creating a form of government, or only some certain ones? Does it take aristocrats to create a decent democracy, as Publius sometimes seems to imply? Does it take such persons to keep it going?
2. Consider the U.S. Constitution as a kind of ‘social contract’ justifying government’s right to command and citizens’ duty to obey. Then ask yourself: is it a good agreement? That is, is it one that you are/ would be willing to make with others about shared governing institutions? Or, would you enter the contract only if certain changes were made first, and if so which ones? That is, (how) would you revise (and/or improve) the Constitution as a founding document? Are our institutions (in theory? in practice?) in fact – as Publius suggests – the ‘best’ form of government created by humans so far; alternatively, as many Americans think, is ours (politically speaking) in fact the ‘greatest country in the world’? Why or why not?
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