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 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of popular sovereignty

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for popular sovereignty

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The first known use of popular sovereignty was in 1848

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Dictionary Entries Near popular sovereignty

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Statistics for popular sovereignty

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Popular sovereignty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/popular%20sovereignty. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on popular sovereignty

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about popular sovereignty

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