America's Founders and Founding Principles

Consent of the Governed

Our Government functions best if it has the consent of its citizens.  It is not enough that an election is held and a representative takes office. They must be accountable to the voter.  They must act in ways which their constituents can provide their consent.  Our founders placed many important checks and balances with the voters and their representatives to ensure that elected leaders would act with their consent. This is essential because AMERICA IS A REPUBLIC.  While it uses democratic methods to elect leaders and for their leaders to make decisions, we are still a Republic. 

A Republic ensures that a simple majority of people cannot violate the rights of a minority. At Founders Corner quotes from Ben Franklin, Thomas Sowell and others illustrate the importance of operating as a Republic and not a democracy. 

Some ways our founders and their successors provided accountability of elected officials to ensure the consent of the governed include:

  • Elections of our Representatives to the House of Representative every two years.
  • Ensuring the President must gain consent of Congress to declare war or issues letters of Marque and Reprisal
  • Limiting the powers of government to those enumerated in the Constitution.
  • A means of free speech to ensure citizens can tell their representatives what they think.
  • A means of free elections to ensure that all those represented will have a voice.
  • Specifically ensuring that the people and the states would reserve those powers and rights not given to the Federal government.


When elected officials enact policies that do not have the consent of the public, they weaken our country and weaken their legitimacy.