popular sovereignty


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

The early history of the parties, then, was partially about securing popular sovereignty. Jay Cost, National Review, "Restoring Congress: The Parties Are a Solution," 17 June 2019 Their reaction is a truculent reassertion of popular sovereignty. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 In England, and later in the United States, nationalism expressed itself in the development of equality, popular sovereignty and individual freedom. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Trump the nationalist celebrates D-Day's triumph of internationalism," 5 June 2019 Leading officials of the United Arab Emirates, including Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, regarded the Brotherhood as a threat to regional order and had little more regard for popular sovereignty than did Mr. Sisi. James Traub, WSJ, "‘Into the Hands of the Soldiers’ Review: Arab Spring, Egypt’s Fall," 14 Aug. 2018 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

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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5 Jul 2019

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The first known use of popular sovereignty was in 1848

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More from Merriam-Webster on popular sovereignty

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about popular sovereignty

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