American democracy is a form of government in which the policy decisions of the government are based on the freely given consent of the people and the people are guaranteed certain basic freedoms. The United States is representative democracy.
John Locke's philosophy was based on the idea that early in human existence people lived in a "state of nature", with no organized government or society. This lead to the formation of civil society, where a method to preserve individuals rights to life, liberty, and estate. This was to prevent a state of war. He also believed that the government only possess limited powers. Its established to protect people's natural rights to life, liberty, and property. If the government fails to do this, the people have the right to replace it. The people can then create a new government that will perform its proper functions of protecting the people. .
Thomas Jefferson stated that the minority possess equal rights, which equal laws must protect. In a democracy, majority rule is legitimate only if it respects and protects the rights of the minority. This means that the minority must be granted certain basic freedoms. These basic freedoms come to mind usually when people link democracy and liberty. Liberty means the freedom to express ones opinion even if it differs from the majority. A few freedoms are: the freedom to worship-or not to worship as one choose, the freedom to join social, economical, or political organization of any description, and many other such freedoms. .
Universal education means that every child has the right to a public education. Thomas Jefferson claimed that a nation could not be both ignorant and free. He said that education would prepare citizens to make wiser political choices and would instill them with the values of democracy. It requires that citizens learn tolerance, respect for others, the ability to compromise on public issues, and social behavior.