popular sovereignty

noun

Definition of popular sovereignty 

1 : a doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people

2 : a pre-Civil War doctrine asserting the right of the people living in a newly organized territory to decide by vote of their territorial legislature whether or not slavery would be permitted there

Examples of popular sovereignty in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But Douglas drove through popular sovereignty, which said the voters should decide — after all, his argument went, what’s a democracy for? Randy Blaser, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Rename Douglas Park — and do it for history's sake," 23 May 2018 Not all of these obstacles to popular sovereignty are rooted exclusively in economics. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy," 23 May 2018 Populism accepts the principles of popular sovereignty and majoritarian democracy. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Populism’s Challenge to Democracy," 16 Mar. 2018 But none are as significant an obstacle to popular sovereignty as the passive suppression inherent to America’s approach to voter registration. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Maryland Adopts Automatic Voter Registration Over GOP Governor’s Objection," 6 Apr. 2018 Within the context of popular sovereignty, dividing a country’s citizens this way implies that some of them are enemies of the people. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Populism’s Challenge to Democracy," 16 Mar. 2018 The Constitution is just a way of organizing popular sovereignty; the underlying truth is that the people ultimately are in charge. Jay Cost, National Review, "Trump’s DACA Repeal Is a Pause in the Trend toward Executive Overreach," 11 Sep. 2017 And yet, the idea that increasing economic inequality and sustaining popular sovereignty are incompatible endeavors wasn’t always alien to our politics. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Inequality Is a Bigger Threat to Our Democracy Than Putin Is," 2 Nov. 2017 The Constitution is just a way of organizing popular sovereignty Jay Cost, National Review, "Trump’s DACA Repeal Is a Pause in the Trend toward Executive Overreach," 11 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'popular sovereignty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of popular sovereignty

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of popular sovereignty was in 1848

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