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34

Democratication came at the hands of improved communications, improved education, the industrial revolution and the agricultural revolution. Not at the hands of cheap weapons. The invention of the printing press democratised knowledge. Books became significantly cheaper to make and were more widely distributed. It was possible for a wider range of thoughts ...


20

I wouldn't characterize post-Magna Carta England as having a weak central government. Compared to the Holy Roman Empire it had a very efficient central government, in which the parliament played an important role alongeside the king. The early English Parliament already had a House of Commons. Hence not only the nobility was given rights but the common ...


19

I'll answer just the part about the Roman Republic, if that's alight for now. The Roman Republic is probably best described as a pseudo-democracy of sorts. Its creation and initial set-up actually pre-dated Athenian democracy by a single year, though even until its dying days it was more of a "democracy for the privileged" than anything. Hence, ...


12

As you have correctly implied, you can NOT equate these terms. Among other reasons, because the first couple are economic systems and the latter are political. There are certain correllations and causations betwene them, however. Just as a note, your question is nearly impossible to answer for 4 reasons: You don't actually define what democracy or ...


12

The question is poorly stated. The Founding Fathers were not all of one mind on many subjects— the Federalists saw danger in direct democracy, whereas the Anti-Federalists did not. Additionally, popular usage of terms like "democracy" or "republic" is quite different from a political scientist's use of such terms— indeed, quite a lot of things "don't mean ...


11

In addition to what you list, the organizational structure, bookkeeping of the monarchs, and relative literacy levels (albeit not high levels absolutely) helped enable a democratic system to emerge. Townhalls and church organizations allowed for some census and accountability to emerge. The later monarchs kept relatively accurate and complete tax records ...


10

First off the wikipedia page that you cite to is based on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index ("EIUDI") which is not an academic source. The methodology used to assemble the report is not known, but that doesn't mean that it is not useful. With that in mind from the EIUDI 2011 Report: Flawed democracies: These countries also have free and ...


10

Note: This is a partial and indicative list. I am looking for more information to improve it. Update 2: It seems there is some controversy over the definition of democracy itself. Until further clarity it would be difficult to populate any such list. Parliamentary Democray Switzerland (1802) Haiti (1860) Estonia (1918) (See comment below from ...


10

I doubt this is to do with a civil war, but instead to do with the voting system. This is Duverger's law. The USA & the UK use a first past the post system, as opposed to a proportional representation system, and under that, the system tends to 2 parties. The UK is in Europe, has had a civil war (though is irrelevant now), and has a 2 party system ...


10

There may not be enough data to get any meaningful answers, but it's worth remembering that the U.S. has had a two-party system for most of its history, including before the civil war (Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists, Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans, Democrats vs. Whigs). As for other countries, remember that almost no country has a system as strong ...


10

The word "caliph" comes from the Arabic "khalifa", which means "successor [of the Prophet]". The caliph claims a religion-based legitimacy, instead of popular support as in republics. The philosophy is totally different. A caliphate's objective is to have a government based on the Sharia, while a republic seeks to have a government based on popular will. ...


10

First of all, I don't really buy the premise that elections were often limited to city states mainly because of logistical problems. I would rather argue that it was because the polis was the primary societal identification for most freemen in the Mediterranean lands, and therefore it was natural for the people of each city-state to want to govern their own ...


9

There is a current List of Countries with no Armed Forces on Wikipedia. Before the 20th century, most armies were private or answerable to only individuals, not the state. You assume men fight for "countries", but even today many armies fight for a leader, not a country. To enumerate some of the armies or non-armies of the past: (1) The Constitution of the ...


8

The U.S. has a two party system because of winner-take-all elections and the powerful executive branch. There are no run off elections so "third parties" are considered spoilers and can't gain traction.


8

"The world must be made safe for democracy." - Woodrow Wilson The irony of Wilson's quote is that WWI did not directly make the world safe for democracy. In fact WWI directly led to the rise of state socialism in the former Russian Empire with its evolution into the USSR, and the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany. From a European standpoint WWI ...


8

Quite a few of them, especially in Central and South America. Here are lists of attempted and successful coups d'etat, listed by date in the former, by nation in the latter.


8

No. It does not always go hand in hand. In fact, if history is any guide, it tended to be the opposite. There are a lot more successful, stable empires than democracy. Many empires saw long period of peace and prosperity that they were called "Pax something", like Pax Romana, Pax Mongolica and Pax Ottomana. Other than those we also have the Imperial China, ...


8

The person that comes to mind is Getulio Vargas of Brazil. He first took power in 1930, in a military-backed coup, after being defeated in a Presidential race, ousting the outgoing President and President-elect. He ruled as a virtual dictator until 1945, at which time he was forced to step down from the Presidency, and allow democratic elections, because his ...


7

Poland - ("Zamach majowy" - May coup) - parliamentary democracy from 1918, successful coup d'etat of Józef Piłsudski in May 1926, and then authoritarian rule of Piłsudski's party up to 1939.


7

Presumably this would be ancient Rome during the early Empire. The best numbers available come, I think, from Augustus' official autobiography. The English text can be found here. In paragraph 8 he says that in the Empire-wide census of 14CE "were counted 4,937,000 of the heads of Roman citizens". Now, it seems to be a vexing questions for historians what ...


7

The Graeco-Roman world is a unique example of intertwined cultures, the geographical and historical proximity of the two civilizations is such that's it's often impossible to distinguish where the one ends and the other begins. In extremely broad terms, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that the political system of the Romans were heavily influenced by the ...


7

Heavily revised based on comments This question is NOT simple; I would argue that it cannot be answered, but I can outline what I think the parameters of the answer might be. In "The Origins of Political Order", Fukayama makes a throwaway comment that the key is that the government be accountable to the people; democracy is only one of the ways that ...


7

The Reichstag was the Parliament of the German Empire from 1871- 1918. It had less force than government, but still was very powerful. The legislature was bicameral; the two houses were the Reichstag and Bundesrat. After the Parliament of United Kingdom, the Reichstag was one of the most progressive parliaments in Europe. Members of the Reichstag were ...


6

The rise of democracy and the fall of feudalism are two separate questions, though arguably the latter was a prerequisite for the former. It is possible that cheap hand guns were a minor factor in either of these, but I doubt it was a major factor. The importance of cavalry in the Middle Ages shouldn't be exaggerated: infantry and archers were usually more ...


6

I'm not sure. The democratization in the XIXth century was also due to the increasing power of labour movements, which was not gained by the use of weapons, but by strikes, mostly. When industrialists rule the political system, the labour class doesn't need to shoot - all they need to do to exert influence is collectively refuse to work.


6

The availability of weapons to ordinary people has often gone hand in hand with with democratization. Early Greece and Rome were blessed by hilly terrain that allowed yeoman farmers to produce high value added crops like grapes and olives, that could be traded for cheaper wheat and cloth, leaving a surplus for them to buy their own weapons. Plus the fact ...


6

Democracies were not necessarily more stable than other forms of government. Polybius describes a cycle of three forms of government - monarchy, then aristocracy, then democracy, then back to monarchy again (of course, this was not always the case in practice). The important point to note is that each first degenerates into an inferior form (tyranny, ...


6

In addition to the points already made, I would say that religion might have played a major role in how England turned out. The English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution, both of which severely damaged the power of the monarch (the former completely destroying it for a while) were partly because of religion. Structures like the English Parliament were ...


6

The 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile seems to fit the criteria you outline. A democratically elected president of a Western country ousted by the military. The 1973 Chilean coup d'état was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. Following an extended period of social and political unrest between the conservative-dominated Congress of Chile ...


6

Such concern likely existed, and there is evidence of some cursory discussion to that effect during the proceedings of the Continental Congress. The rationale for creating a federal district with sole jurisdiction of the Congress was probably laid out best (among the surviving documents) by James Madison: The indispensable necessity of complete authority ...



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