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How Have the Concepts of Popular Sovereignty, Rule of Law and Tolerance Developed Through Time

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Miller, Amanda
Professor Patrick Coaty
PSCI 180
20 February 2014

Journal One
How have the concepts of Popular Sovereignty, Rule of Law and Tolerance developed through time (using the historical documents as a reference).

On September 17, 1787, delegates from 12 separate states met for the purpose of forming a new government founded on principles of Popular Sovereignty, Rule of Law, and Liberty/ Tolerance; however and since there introduction the late 18th century, these principles have evolved and developed significantly throughout history. Through the examination and analysis of the Treaty of Paris, United States Constitution, Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the United Nations Charter we can see how the meaning of these principles, founded in the United State Constitution and its framing, have evolved and adapted to complement 21st century philosophy.
The American example, set forth by the United States Constitution, marked the first successful movement away from the rule of the Monarch or that of the Devine Right of the King. The Founding Fathers and writers of the Constitution sought to replace the authority of King George III of England with a collective sovereignty, the standard of which a government should be established and maintained, (viz., Popular Sovereignty).    
Popular Sovereignty is asserted as the founding principle of the United States as illustrated in the first three words of the Constitution, ‘We the People…’ which signifies people as the source of political power. This idea is also reflected in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; however, the concept of Popular Sovereignty during its conception did apply to African Americans, slaves (not all of African decent), women or anyone under the age of 25. Through the process of amendment, efforts where made to expand voting rights, redefining the meaning of Popular Sovereignty in the United States. The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1870, forbids the denial of voting...


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