• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent have amendments to the Constitution made it more democratic?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent have the amendments to the constitution made it more democratic? To be democratic in the USA can mean one of two things. Firstly, the democratic in the political ideology of maintaining a democracy or social equality. The power is with the many, and not the few. Methods of achieving this is a free vote for every citizen and either electing representatives or directly decision making by the public. Secondly, the Democratic Party is one of the biggest political parties in the world and is one of the two parties dominating USA politics. For the purpose of answering this question, the first definition is required and the constitution being democratic would mean maintaining a democracy. The USA constitution is codified; a single entrenched document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788. ...read more.


Those three amendments were the fifteenth, nineteenth and twenty-sixth amendments. In 1870, the fifteenth amendment was ratified. The amendment declared race or colour could not be used as criteria when voting. This took some discriminative factors away from the constitution and therefore, made it more democratic by giving more people a free vote. Women were still being discriminated against and it wasn't until the nineteenth amendment came into force in 1920, that gender biased was removed. Like the fifteenth amendment, the nineteenth amendment removes some of the discrimination of US politics and promotes democracy in the US by giving more people the vote. The twenty-sixth amendment lowered the voting age to 18. This gave more people the vote. Before these three amendments, only those with white skin; were male and over the age of 21 could vote. ...read more.


This amendment ensured that states could not link the payment of tax with the right to vote. So, if taxes are not paid by a citizen then that citizen must still retain the right to vote. The right to a free vote is a democratic must. This amendment improved democracy in the United States. Brought into force in 1913 was the 17th amendment to the constitution. No longer could states elect members of the Senate. The passing of this amendment gave the public the right to vote for their elected Senator. Giving more political positions elected status, ensures the public have the choice of those representing them and promotes democracy. The last seventeen amendments to the constitution have promoted a more democratic constitution by including more people in the US political process and ensuring that the represented are having a free vote for who their representative is. Jamie Boote US Politics: Constitution ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. How is Britain's constitution changing in the 21st century?

    This is making questions that are at national level become important at European level and smacks of the idea of a European super state, moving a unitary Britain to possibility of being a unit of a federal organisation, and further a written constitution for all EU member countries.

  2. Free essay

    Assess the problems in achieving democratic government by the election of representatives

    This would occur through practices such as referendums. For example, the Welsh devolution referendum in 1997on whether there should be a Welsh Assembly. Modern Democracies mainly take the representative approach; however many believe that this approach of electing representatives cause's problems when trying to achieve democratic government.

  1. US Constitution Definition of Terms

    Constitution, addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the 'public acts, records, and judicial proceedings' of other states. Basically, judicial decisions that are made in one state are recognized and upheld by other states. It also prevents someone from moving from another state to escape enforcement of a judgement.

  2. US constitition and amendments

    The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the constitution and, in doing so, has been prepared to ignore precedent and overturn previous judgements. A famous example of such is case is Roe and Wade which affirmed the right of women to seek abortion during the first three months of pregnancy.

  1. The Australian Constitution is the ultimate law ruling in Australia

    There is some integration of power between the executive and the legislature since the government of the day effectively controls both; the courts have maintained their independence from government. Each aim of government has a distinctive role that cannot be performed by another arm of government.

  2. Was the Weimar constitution a model of democracy or was it providing a blue ...

    would not work together this is when the threat came from the right wing as they were more organized. Ernst Troeltsch wrote in an article in 1919 said, "Overnight we have become the most radical democracy in Europe". What he meant by this is that Germany has changed so quickly without planning ahead.

  1. The British Constitution

    The House of Lords has traditionally consisted of the nobility of Britain, including Bishops, who are appointed. The House of Lords is currently in a period of reform where peerage will play a much smaller role in the system. A commission that represents the major political parties and the House of Lords will now appoint 'Life peers'.

  2. Assess the significance of race, gender and religion as factors influencing US voting behaviour. ...

    fact, quite the opposite; their staple voter is a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant. In the 2008 presidential election, 55% of whites of both genders voted for McCain, the Republican nominee. In 2004 this figure was even higher, at 58%. As polarisation of the parties increases, Younge suggests that an ?already significant

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work