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Questions tagged [democracy]

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 aforementioned political/economic unit (the later is also known as anarchy, a system where all members have equal representation and political status).

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62
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12answers
16k views

Have there been any countries that voted themselves out of existence?

I'm interested in countries that voted themselves out of existence because they believe that joining another country is best for them (see e.g. world government). For example, say New Zealand votes to ...
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2answers
334 views

Was there ever a democracy where the three branches went to war?

I was thinking yesterday about the three branches of democracy: The legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch. The idea is that each has limited responsibility and powers, and ...
13
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3answers
2k 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 that makes a distinction between a Democracy (rule of majority) vs Republic (rule of law). It contests that a Republic is a state that is designed to protect the rights of ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Were there socioeconomic reasons for the decline of Athenian democracy?

Historians often emphasize socioeconomic causes when describing the fall of the Roman republic, which began centuries before Augustus won the civil wars. For example, the sudden influx of wealth and ...
5
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1answer
351 views

What is the historical significance of spoilt votes?

In discussions about voting, it is often claimed that voting with an intentionally spoilt ballot sends a message to the candidates while not voting at all signifies indifference and your concerns as a ...
9
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5answers
914 views

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

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 ...
5
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2answers
3k 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 ...
29
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6answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Difference between modern and Ancient Greece democracy [closed]

Many times is read that Ancient Greece and present democracy are different concepts. I suppose democracy in the present can be defined as a government in which the average of citizen ideas are taken ...
16
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7answers
7k 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 ...
17
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5answers
14k 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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1answer
199 views

What is the reason that European Democracies developed without judicial independence?

When I was admitted as a graduate solicitor to the Supreme Court of the State I had studied in, the Judge said: Treasure Judicial Independence. You can count on one hand the countries that have it! ...
15
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4answers
2k 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 ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Who were the first two democratically elected leaders of Russia?

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 ...
7
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4answers
478 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 ...
6
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5answers
269 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): ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Did two unquestionably democratic states ever engage in war? [closed]

I was just reading A.fm.'s comment on this question. [...] and history shows democratic states don't fight one another. At first I thought this statement was wrong, but thinking further I couldn't ...
16
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8answers
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
993 views

How were political factions in the late Roman republic different from political parties today?

I've read that in the 1st century BCE, Rome came to be dominated by a dispute between two political factions: the Optimates, representing the traditionalist patrician families, who wanted to lock down ...
2
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0answers
181 views

A comparison between the reforms of Athens and Rome

Question: What made it possible that, during the times of Solon, Athens underwent reforms characterized by isonomia, — that is, equality among citizens, — whereas their approximately contemporary ...
20
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1answer
6k views

Was Hitler released from jail in 1924 on condition that he ran democratically?

In 1924, Adolf Hitler served only 264 days in prison after his failed coup d'état. Was his release politically ordered? I suppose that the motive could've been that it is better to have him lead the "...
4
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1answer
175 views

Which were the four villages in Attica affected by Cleisthenes' reforms? What happened to them?

Cleisthenes reformed the Athenian society and the Athenian politics. He organized the Athenian society into 10 artificial tribes, and further divided them into thirds. I am told that earlier, there ...
3
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2answers
5k views

Tocqueville and the phrase “The great experiment”

The line "The great experiment" has become famous for being used by Tocqueville for describing the birth of modern democracy in America. It is supposed to be in the last paragraph of the first chapter ...
4
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5answers
1k 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 ...
14
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3answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
499 views

Are there any known instances of sub-Saharan African democracy before European colonialism?

I've been reading up on pre-Athenian democracy (sometimes referred to as primitive or tribal democracy) where leaders were selected by some or most members of a group and were subject to established ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Has the US ever held a referendum? Would it be possible according to the constitution? [closed]

Many western countries (Switzerland more than anyone) now and then arrange referendum about issues like membership in the EU, or keeping or abolishing military conscription, or whether or not to shift ...
1
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3answers
157 views

What are recent historically significant accounts of direct democracy? [closed]

True democracy in the sense that each person gets a vote, not on representation, but on the issues themselves. The interest is in: How far such systems may have scaled. More recent examples. The ...
16
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4answers
2k 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 ...
12
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5answers
2k 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. ...
8
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1answer
14k 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 ...
12
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1answer
945 views

Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s?

Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s? For example, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953 was assented to by the crown. The relevant law in ...
3
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0answers
608 views

When did democracy become popular? [closed]

After the Greek and Rome, democracy died out. So when have this system become popular? Which country were the first to adopt it after Rome? And how did it become so widely used?
2
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3answers
4k views

Why did the Government of India Act create separate electorates for the depressed classes?

The Communal Award, in 1932, conceded to the demands of B.R. Ambedkar and the ilk to have separate electorates for depressed classes. But Gandhji held fast unto death to undo this. So, Poona Pact ...
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2answers
939 views

Why did democracy emerge in what is now Greece? [closed]

I suppose we can't know the answer to this question, but I think it's worth hearing other people's best guesses. My theory is that Greece is special because it’s mostly comprised of many small islands....
2
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1answer
557 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
209 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 ...
4
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1answer
507 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 self-...
9
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2answers
3k 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?
8
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3answers
325 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 ...
14
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5answers
1k 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, ...
4
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4answers
11k 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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7answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
4k views

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. ...
12
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1answer
376 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 ...
3
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4answers
2k 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. ...
9
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1answer
284 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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2answers
1k views

When did polygamy start becoming illegal? [closed]

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