Speaker Topic

10 Issues from that American Revolution that Still Plague Our Democracy Today

Winston Churchill once said that “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried….” Looking at history, Churchill is (or was) right.

If one studies American history and the path taken by this country’s Federal government, it appears as if the government is following a winding road through time. In the end, the U.S. generally got the answers close to being right, but the process is quite often painful.

This presentation covers 10 “issues” that our Founding Fathers faced in the early days of the United States. For example, way back in 1792, President Washington was faced with two rebellions, the Whiskey Rebellion and Shay’s Rebellion. How and where did the authority come from to use, if needed, military force to put these revolts down?

Or, who is a citizen? And, if one immigrates to the United States, how do you become a citizen? What’s the process?

Or, in 1794, the Congress votes into a law that authorizes the President to create a U.S. Navy. Yet, while they gave the executive branch the legal framework, the Congress didn’t appropriate enough money to build the ships that were authorized, or man them, or equip them. And, then Congressional delegations insisted that the ships be built in the shipyards in their districts. Sound familiar?

Our Founding Fathers created solutions appropriate for the early days of our country. However, times have changed and what we thought was solved in the late 18th Century or early 19th Century, has in the 246+ years of the United States become “unsolved.” Often our legislators or presidents have made the situation worse. Politics, egos and a reluctance to admit mistakes has, on some occasions, led our political leaders to implement an answer that makes the situation worse that it was.

Some experts will say that this the price of democracy. In the United States because our democracy changes or reverses direction every four or eight years, the cost of these radical shifts in polity is borne by the taxpayer.

This presentation titled “10 Political Issues from the 1790s that We Still Face Today.” Our Founding Fathers thought they solved them in the formative years of our country between 1775 (the beginning of the American Revolution) and 1815 (the end of the War of 1812. Unfortunately, many have that were solved have become unsolved and are being debated today. You’ll learn about the historical context of the issues and what was done to “solve” the problem at the end of the late 18th Century and early 19th Century. Many of the solutions and polices are still in effect today!

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