History Of the Early National United States, 1789-1848
The history of the United States has been marked by important factors which determined its evolution into what has come to be known as the most efficient democracy in the world. However, in order to reach this status, the republic had to undergo several changes, both at the level of the political conduct, as well as at the level of the political thought. Republicanism is widely considered as having been a milestone in both these aspects. It was the cornerstone of the political conduct in the early days of the republic and at the same time it enshrined the basic thoughts on politics at the time. Despite its use in that historical context, by the late 1960s, the term of republicanism as analyzed by scholars came to signify a different perspective and thus its interpretation gave rise to new meanings and points-of-view.
In the early days of the creation of the state, republicanism represented a set of ideas and values that motivated the revolutionary spirit of the Founding Fathers. It stood up for the beliefs that justified their actions which set them apart from the British rule. In this sense, the early history of the United States saw in the elements defining republicanism ideas related to liberty, the respect for human right, the equality of men, and, above all, a new set of norms based on the constitutional order.
The emergence of republicanism as a political thought is attributed to the early revolutionary forces that continuously viewed the British rule as a sign of corruption and inherited power. In turn, the advocates of this trend sought liberation from the old ideas related to the monarchic rule which limited the exercise of basic human rights. This was considered to be a flaw in the system of the monarchy that also confronted the colonies under the British rule. The right to exercise a chosen religion for instance was thought to be forbidden in the Empire, taking into account the fact that Anglicanism was the dominant and decisive force in England. By comparison, Republicanism advocated a new sense of considering the freedom of choice and of belief and rejected these imperatives.
There were also other considerations which led to the establishment of Republicanism as the framework for the conduct of politics in the era prior to the American Revolution. Unlike the apparently corrupt political system in Britain, which was hereditarily constructed, with inherited titles and positions often accessed through favoritism, the American political scene would be one in which the population would be properly represented according to the will of the people, and not through the power of influence of the representatives. In this sense, there was a wide interest in the construction of a representative system of elections which would set the basis for the democratic system.
The power of the law was yet another aspect that was taken into consideration by the Republican advocates. Personalities such as John Adams considered that the equality among men had to be perceived both in terms of the exercise of rights, as well as in the protection of their rights by the legal system. In this sense, he viewed all men, regardless of their status, as benefitting from the same liberties, by comparison to the British system where the nobility was better represented and enjoyed certain privileges common people lacked.
The matter of a central government that would enable a coordinated control over the matters of the republic, without however limiting the autonomy of state government was also an important aspect. It ensured that control was somewhat maintained, but still the…