The history of numerous nations of the world tells us much about the government of those nations. The forefathers of the United States of America studied many of these nations in order to learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. The founders discovered that great nations are built upon virtuous standards, and they proceeded to write true and correct principles into the Constitution of the new nation. Since these principles are too numerous for all to be included, this essay will discuss only three of them: mission to be a light, democratic and republican values, and economic freedom.
The first principle is the belief of the early colonists that the United States had a mission to be a light to the world. This mission was prophesied in scripture and founded in the hearts of the Puritans. The idea of a mission has motivated the United States in all eras of the nation – from the desire to expand to the west and the determination to stop oppression in both World Wars to the destruction of terrorism and confrontation of North Korea. However, the God-given purpose for the United States Constitution is to maintain and protect the rights of all people. Most nations still look to America for leadership in spite of mistakes (slavery and Great Depression) and bad judgement (Vietnam and Iraq wars). The world as a whole becomes a healthier place when the United States fulfills its mission to be a light to the world. America can accomplish this mission better by maintaining a republic founded on virtuous principles.
The second principle is that the forefathers created a republic that contains republican and democratic values. This principle refers to a type of government rather than to any political party. Knowing that they did not want a monarchy, the founders decided that their choice was between a republic and a democracy. A republic is a nation where the people have the power to elect representatives to create the laws and the laws reflect the will of the people, promote equality among them, and protect their common welfare. A democracy is a nation where the people themselves determine the laws. After comparing the principles of both types of governments, the forefathers chose to create a republic with a few democratic principles. Thus, the government of the United States is often called a democratic republic, and its principles bless Americans and people all over the world.
The third principle is economic freedom. This freedom means the opportunity to choose one’s own work (profession or occupation), to control the results of one’s work (earnings, property, or life style), and to use one’s property as one chooses. This principle is closely connected with the principle of private ownership of property. The two principles together create motivation to work and/or to create. The freedom to own property is a large part of the opportunity to the control of the fruits of one’s labor, and this freedom helps to bring more economic freedom to the people. Economic freedom for individuals leads to stronger, healthier, and more prosperous nations because individuals become more self-reliant and less dependent on the government to provide daily needs.
One can plainly see that the foundational principles of any nation determine whether the government of that country can be considered as a positive or a negative force in the lives of its citizens. When founded upon virtuous principles that work together for the good of the people, any nation can have an honorable government and freedom for its people. The United States was founded upon true and correct principles and has become a country that attracts immigrants from all over the world. America has been a light to the world for more than two hundred years and will continue to do so for as long as it remains virtuous.