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Democracy Essay

1625 words - 7 pages

DemocracyI. Meaning of DemocracyII. Summary of Places and DatesIII. Features of DemocracyIV. Types of DemocracyV. Early DemocracyA. AthensB. RomeVI. Middle Ages and EnglandVII. The RenaissanceA. United States of AmericaB. FranceVIII. Modern TimesIX. Important PeopleDemos Kratia, or democracy, as it is used today, means " the people rule."A democracy is a form of government is run by the people of that country throughelections and representation. A democracy is really a form of a republic known as ademocratic republic. A republic is a government where officials, elected by a smallgroup of people, make the important decisions.Democracy has been around for almost 2500 years since Athens, Greecebecame the first democracy. The Romans also experimented with democracy,however it was more a republic, and not a democracy. Around 1200 England laidthe groundwork to become a republic. Later, in the 1700's, United States ofAmerica, became a democracy.There are many features of democracy. Most of these features are the same,but individual countries use varations of the main ideas. The main feature ofdemocracy, which determines a true democracy, is free, competitive elections.Sometimes however, women or minorities don't have the right to vote. Some ofthese other features, such as checks on power, help to limit the strength of any oneperson or party. Other features like free elections, and majority/ minority rule, helpto make elections fair, since the judgment of many people is generally better thenthe judgment of a few people. Political parties keep one government, or idea ofgovernment form holding all power. These features let the people to governthemselves without the country being torn apart.There are two true types of democracies, direct democracies, andrepresentative democracies. In a direct democracy all the people meet to discussproblems and creat laws. A direct decision consults all the people for thedecisions.. Since that is unpractical in todays world, a new form of democracy, therepresentative democracy has arisen. This form of democracy has electedrepresentatives making most of the day to day decisions, while the main groups ofcitizens consulted for only the most important decisions.One of the earliest known democracies was in Athens, a city-state insouthern, ancient Greece. Around 620BC, Athens became the first true democracy.In Athens the ruler Draco tried to make many reforms in the city state. Dracoorganized laws by putting them in a written code, letting everyone know what thelaws were and how they applied to everyone. He also gave the people the right to atrial. The next ruler Solon, the next Athenian ruler also helped Athens become ademocracy. He also wrote many reforms into the laws and gave all citizens theright to vote, an important step in the origins of democracy. Some of his reformscreated problems for other people, who wanted to become citizens. In 500BC,Athens looked like a modern democracy. The main lawmaking body was known asthe...

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