Our Founding Fathers purposely and carefully established a Compactual-Republic. The reason is twofold. First, a republic is the best functional manner in which to practice democratic principles through a representative government. With any large population, representation is necessary to allow most of the citizenry to focus on their daily lives and working within the economy, and the elected few to represent the interests of their constituents. But since even a republic can fall to despotism just as a democracy, the critical component is establishing a social compact or constitution. A social compact established the moral agreement, while a constitution institutes the desired structure and fundamental restrictions which allow a limited government to best serve the people – allow the upmost level of liberty, freedom and prosperity. The Constitution of the United States was underpinned by Christian principles and values and rested upon the statement in the Declaration of Independence, “they [We the People] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
[E]very American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken.
The Federal Compact was established to protect the liberty of the citizenry of America. Unless liberty was carefully protected – this was the true security as discussed in previous articles (see here, here, here and here) – only then could American Exceptionalism flourish. For this reason, liberty is the Divine ingredient in the Great Experiment. The Great Experiment is God-centered; and, also, exactly why our individuality is also to be God-centered. This steadfastly protects us from despots. It created an experiment of Divine Providence.
Republics can only exist under a deliberate effort, and even then they can be tenuous. Success of republics have not lasted long term, nor have they been large in size. Historically successful republics have been city-States or small nation-States. Our Founders, and even our Forefathers, understood this. They understood they had to be extremely deliberate in their design and execution; circumstance were simply not enough to hold and maintain a stable and lasting republic. Alexis de Tocqueville explains, “The history of the world affords no instance of a great nation retaining the form of republican government for a long series of years, and this has led to the conclusion that such a state of things is impracticable.” Tocqueville further illuminates:
Small nations have therefore ever been the cradle of political liberty; and the fact that many of them have lost their immunities by extending their domination shows that the freedom they enjoyed was more a consequence of their inferior size than of the character of the people.
Calvin Coolidge, July 5, 1926, “The Inspiration of the Declaration of Independence,” (Philadelphia, PA), [http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/html/the_inspiration_of_the_declara.html].
Alexis de Tocqueville, 2007 (originally published in 1835 and 1840), Democracy in America, Volumes 1 and 2, Unabridged, (Stilwell, KS: Digireads.com Publishing), p. 122.