tyranny of the majority

A concept first coined in the nineteenth century by French writer Alexis de Tocqueville and also embraced by John Stuart Mill, who claimed that even democracies had limitations in that minority rights could be forfeited in the pursuit of popular causes. Possible solutions to such tyranny could be a constitutionally entrenched bill of rights, proportional representation, or, more effectively, a democracy divided up into a federation where peoples of different beliefs and values could gravitate to separate geographical areas that maintained their own distinct laws and practices.