Reading

What Is Democracy?

The following are some quotations about democracy:

“E pluribus unum.” (Out of many, one.) 
—MOTTO OF THE UNITED STATES 

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” 
—HARRY EMERSON FOSDICK

“Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming, rather than being. It can easily be lost, but never is fully won. Its essence is eternal struggle.” 
—FEDERAL JUDGE WILLIAM H. HASTIE 

“Chief among our gains must be reckoned this possibility of choice, the recognition of many possible ways of life, where other civilizations have recognized only one.” 
—MARGARET MEAD 

“Democracy means not ‘I am as good as you are,’ but ‘You are as good as I am.’” 
—REV. THEODORE PARKER 

“The government is us; we are the government, you and I.” 
—THEODORE ROOSEVELT

“In a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen.”
—SUPREME COURT JUSTICE FELIX FRANKFURTER

Related Content

Reading
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Quotations on Democracy in South Africa (set 2)

Consider quotes from South Africans about the nature of democracy and what makes it work.

Reading
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Not Just Awareness, But Action

Read President Barack Obama’s commencement address at Howard University from 2016 about his vision of civic participation and the duties of citizenship.

Reading
Holocaust

America and the Holocaust

Learn about Americans' attitudes of fear and distrust toward Jewish refugees from Europe.

Reading

Language Loss

Theodore Fontaine recalls being punished as a student at Fort Alexander Residential School for speaking the indigenous language Ojibway.

Search Our Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.