Citizenship Paper for Civic Engagement Class

Essay by ibkensterUniversity, Master'sA, April 2010

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Citizenship Paper

California Lutheran University

Civic Engagement

MPPA 582

September 23, 2009


Citizenship Paper


Type citizenship and democracy into Google; low and behold approximately 33.7 and 73.6 billion responses are returned by the search engine, that's over 100 million responses. Why is that? Could it be that the concept is just too big to get your arms around? This paper will examine the role of citizens in a democracy. It will also examine some of the limitations and requirements for in a democracy. What is the citizen's role in a democracy and why is it important that all citizens participate? To answer this question it might be useful define the terms and Merriam-Webster defines democracy as "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."

Citizenship is defined as "membership in a community (as a college)" (Merriam-Webster, n.d.).

There are many ways citizens participate in our democratic process but the Founders believed that the main purpose of government was to protect people's basic rights. Almost all citizens have the right to participate in governing our nation. They may choose among many different ways of doing this. Some of the ways citizens can participate are:

Voting in local, state, and national elections

Participating in a political discussion

Trying to persuade someone to vote a certain way by signing a petition

Wearing a button or putting a sticker on the car

Writing letters to elected representatives

Contributing money to a party or candidate

Attending meetings to gain information, discuss issues, or lend support

Campaigning for a candidate

Lobbying for laws that are of special interest

Demonstrating through marches, boycotts, sit-ins, or other...