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to President Wilson's appeal to make the world safe for democracy.
Best of all, the spirit of union and co-operation is symbolized in the Stars and Stripes. With parallel bars of red and white for the original union of thirteen colonies, with crystal stars in a common field of blue for the unity of today's forty-eight commonwealths; with red for the militant spirit of liberty and self-reliance, with white representing not only a democratic blending of the prismatic colors but of the varied-tempered personalities of the nation, with blue for the "true blue" spirit of fraternity and brotherhood-with all these together, the Stars and the Stripes, the Red, White, and Blue, the result is the most expressive symbol of political union and social co-operation that the world has known.
AMERICAN TRAITS: DEMOCRACY AND THE SQUARE DEAL
The third golden thread that has been woven into the fabric of Americanism is democracy, which is "the square deal" incorporated not only into the political, but into the entire woof of life. Democracy was introduced to the world by the city-states of Greece, given trenchant meaning in the teachings of early Christianity, extended by the Magna Charta, re-vitalized by the Protestant reformers, accorded unprecedented leeway in new America. Here it has developed from humble but sturdy beginnings, has made advances in spite of aristocratic prejudices, has become nationalized, pan-Americanized, and internationalized.
Shortly before landing, the Pilgrim Fathers formulated a statement of the ideals they proposed to serve. While these beginnings of American ideals may be traced in their origins to English, French, and Dutch developments of thought, and even to the Grecian democracies, it is also significant that the "Mayflower" Compact was drawn up nearly thirty years before the adoption of the "Agreement of the People" in the time of Cromwell; that it was signed seventy years previous to the appearance of the "Treatises on Government" by John Locke, which
contained an argument in support of the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people; and that it antedated the Contrat social of Rousseau by 142 years.
The "Mayflower" Pilgrims agreed to unite in "a civil body politic." This organization of the people was to be a means, not an end; it was to enact such just and equal laws from time to time, "as shall be thought most meete and convenient for ye general good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience." It was an instrument in the hands of the people to be used for the benefit of this self-same people. It decreed that law, and not the arbitrary and capricious will of the king, should be the basis of government. The content and spirit of law was to be measured by "ye general good of ye Colonie,” i. e., by public welfare.
Democracy in America has swung back and forth between abstract equality on one hand and practical fraternity on the other. According to the "Mayflower" covenant, the Pilgrim Fathers desired democracy chiefly for their own small group.1 From a more or less intolerant, bigoted, and microcosmic desire for democracy for the members of a religious group to a world-must-be-made-safe-for-democracy ideal is a long, long journey. Nevertheless it is the distance which has been traversed in America between December 21, 1620, and April 2, 1917; it is the ground which has been covered between the days of the localized democracy of the Pilgrims and of the world-wide democracy of President Wilson.
'The "Puritans" proper held an even more circumscribed view of democracy than the Separatist Puritans, or "Pilgrims."
The intervening decades have witnessed the vacillating but increasingly successful experiments in the United States to adapt and to interpret the principles of democracy in the deepening and enlarging spheres of individual, national, pan-American, and international activities.
By the close of the Revolutionary period, democracy had been given common currency in terms of political equality-equality of rights of individuals before the law. It had come to signify the supremacy of civil law, made by the people, over the rule of military authority, expressed autocratically. It meant the sovereignty of the people in contrast to the supremacy of kings, the free exercise of the individual intellect in matters of government without interference by arbitrary power, the founding of governmental authority on the consent of the gov erned and determined by the voice of the majority, and the protection of the fundamental needs of the individual-life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These early principles culminated in the lifework of Thomas Jefferson, "the first prophet of American democracy." He advocated democracy, through a jealous care of the right of election by the people; democracy, through absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority; democracy, through maintaining the supremacy of the civil over the military authority, reducing the latter to a welldisciplined militia; democracy, through rendering equal and exact justice (chiefly political) to all men of whatsoever state or persuasion, political or religious; democracy, through diffusing information
and arraigning all abuses at the bar of public reason.
In 1823, President James Monroe, acting in line with the previous declarations of John Quincy Adams and having the sympathetic support of the English statesman, George Canning, flung out a new challenge to the world when he asserted that not only the United States but Central and South American commonwealths were henceforth to be preserved inviolate for experiments in democracy. Under the protecting influence of the Stars and Stripes, democracy was placed on trial in both Americas-free from further intervention or colonization by the autocratic governments of the Old World. President Monroe pointed out that the political systems of the European powers were essentially different from government in America and that therefore "we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety." Further, we could not look upon any interposition for the purpose of oppressing the independent Central and South American democracies, "or controlling in any manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."2
In those daring words, Europe was informed that henceforth the Americas were to be left free from European autocratic influence, in developing the spirit of democracy.
James D. Richardson, (compiler), Messages and Papers of the Presidents, II:218.