From the Greek "rule of the many", describes some form of popular representation in the governance of a political or economic unit such as a nation state or a corporation. Democracy ranges from the more limited electoral representation to full voting participation on all issues before the ...

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Voting enfranchisement in the USA in the 18th century

It is frequently asserted that when the US constitution was ratified in 1788, it was a very progressive piece of legislation because it gave everyone the right to vote, making the US the first modern ...
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107 views

Are there notes by the Founding Fathers which indicate why DC citizens were denied a vote in Congress?

Are there any records from the Constitutional Convention that establish why the District of Columbia was denied voting representation in the Senate and the House? Was there even any expression of ...
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304 views

Is Costa Rica's refusal to maintain a standing army unique?

After a 44-day bloody civil war in 1948, the rebel fighters of Costa Rica banned the country from having a standing army. Other than conquered nations under the dominion of another, is there any ...
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2answers
490 views

How democratic was Imperial Germany?

How democratic was Imperial Germany? How much power did the Reichstag actually have? How did the Imperial German government compare to other contemporary democracies?
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3answers
153 views

At which point did election in a large country become feasible?

According to this answer by Anixx In the ancient world, democracy or oligarchical republics existed only in city-states because it was unfeasible to conduct elections in a large country and ...
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4answers
117 views

How accurate is Russell on liberalism versus fanaticism in war?

After the second world war, reflecting on the rule of empiricism versus various kinds of dogmatism in political philosophy, Bertrand Russell writes (Philosophy and Politics, 1947; emphasis mine): ...
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2answers
207 views

Who were the first democratically elected leaders of Russia in history?

On Boris Yeltsin's page in Wikipedia there's the fact that on 12th June, 1991, he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ...
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388 views

Athenian Democracy - How were the citizens motivated to be so politically active?

Considering the city-state of Athens and its interesting idea of a direct democracy (550 B.C.), I am comparing and contrasting the political activity of ancient Athenians and modern Americans. ...
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317 views

Dictators who came back through elections?

Were there any dictators1 who, after being toppled by a revolution or the like, managed to get back to power via what is (or was considered by the norms applied at the time) free and transparent2 ...
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4answers
509 views

Does History confirm that prosperity, capitalism, and some form “democracy” or representative republican form of government always go hand in hand?

Many historians, politicians and economists find a link between the economic success of a nation and its form of government. For example, the idea that the USA's form of government was responsible ...
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2answers
769 views

What are major differences between a Caliphate and a modern Republic?

As far as I know, a Caliphate elects a leader for a lifetime term, rather than having regular elections. Some caliphates choose their leader by a small group rather than have the masses choose, but ...
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Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
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182 views

How big were the biggest elections during the ancient era?

According to this question - Why did non-monarchic rule meet with so little success in ancient China?, elections in the ancient era were mostly conducted in city-states, due to feasibility, logistical ...
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120 views

What were the origins of democracy?

I realize that many people say that Athens is where democracy started, but is there any solid proof that it was the first? On Wikipedia, it is stated that: there is evidence to suggest that ...
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654 views

Did the Founding Fathers of the USA really make a distinction between a Republic and a Democracy (and despised the latter)?

I've come across this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-gEkKzRvbI It makes a distinction between a Democracy (rule of majority) vs Republic (rule of law). It contests that a Republic is a state ...
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176 views

What is the reason for Burma/Myanmar's recent reforms?

In the last couple of days, the press has been granted much greater freedoms in Burma. They held elections last year and even released Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest (only a year or 2 after they ...
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7answers
473 views

Has there ever been an attempted military takeover of a democracy in the western world?

Ignoring the Spanish 1981 and Greek 1967 coups. Are there any other examples of the military attempting (or even managing) to overthrow an elected government in an advanced democracy in the western ...
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5answers
2k views

Was democracy present in India before British colonization?

My friend claims that India had democracy before the British colonized it. I am skeptical and have failed to find any references to democracy in India within the last thousand years. I found one weak ...
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4answers
6k views

Why are the democracies of France, Israel and India rated “Flawed Democracies”? [closed]

What does the term "Flawed Democracy" actually mean? Why are some of the world's successful democracies like France, Israel and India rated "Flawed Democracies" by the Economist Intelligence Unit?
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443 views

Why, even, various developed countries faced Coup D'etat, Dictatorship and/or Civil War but India didn't?

Various countries even that have highly developed democracy, economy and knowledge-based society faced Coup D'etat, Dictatorship and/or Civil War. India was an underdeveloped society, economy and had ...
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4k views

What specific changes were made to political ideologies around during and before World War I?

I'm studying the influence of democracy and the United States' advocacy of it during the early 20th century, and the effect that the Allied Powers' victory in World War I had in the shifting of ...
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4answers
640 views

Correlation between capitalism/democracy and communism/dictatorship?

Some people often equate capitalism with democracy and communism with dictatorship, is this necessarily true? What are good examples and counter-examples of these associations? Should kingdoms etc. ...
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2answers
567 views

When did polygamy start becoming illegal? [closed]

Anyone knows when the greek/roman (or anyone else) start prohibiting polygamy and why?
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3answers
439 views

What was Libya's form of direct democracy (Jamahiria) like in practice?

I've been following the recent events in Libya and I learned about the Green Book, which outlines Gaddafi's vision for a democratic socialism. Published in 1975, it proposed a form of direct democracy ...
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4answers
862 views

Do most of today's democratic nations with two-party system exhibit a civil war in recent past?

I was thinking about the two-party system in USA and comparing it to mostly multi-party systems in Europe and was wondering, if this national state of democracy is mainly caused by political decisions ...
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5answers
470 views

Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?

I had a history teacher who argued that a major reason for the fall of the feudal system, was that the knights lost their military superiority because of development in weapon technology (longbow, ...
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2answers
782 views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
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4answers
2k views

Which 11 countries were democratic in 1941?

Relistening to the BBC's History of Democracy broadcast in July 2011. The historian on the show talked about the low point for democracies being 1941 when there were just 11 parliamentary democracies ...
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656 views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...