a sovereign people, consider themself a democracy

belongedto

Senior Member
Chinese
Source: VOA Learning English, The Unique Invention of the American President

For thousands of years before the American Constitution people thought a strong executive power and a democracy – what Jefferson called self-government – were incompatible. Because how could a sovereign people delegate tremendous responsibility to one individual and still consider themself a democracy, even a representative democracy?

What does sovereign mean?
Is the use of themself correct?
Can I consider a people a democracy?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I often use "themself" as a gender-neutral third person singular reflexive pronoun referring to a person, but not everyone accepts this use, and sometimes it is best avoided. Here it seems completely unnecessary. A people is not the same thing as a person, and can take the pronoun "itself", but it is more common to regard a people as a collective noun and use plural pronouns: "themselves".

    "For thousands of years" is something of an exaggeration. Democracy had only been around for a little over two thousand years, with very few historical examples to draw upon.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top