What Is the Idea That Government Should Serve the Will of the People?

A representative government is one that believes the government should serve the will of its people. In a representative government, such as that which exists in America, the people elect a certain number of representatives who then listen to their constituents and do as they ask.

A representative government was first suggested as the government for the United States in the 1630s by John Locke. After America won its independence from the British in 1776, Thomas Jefferson suggested in the Declaration of Independence that the government acquire its "just powers from the consent of the governed" and a representative government was formed.