68

Frequently. Newfoundland and Labrador The most recent example might be Newfoundland and Labrador, which in 1949 voted to join Canada as its tenth province. A Dominion from 1907, the Newfoundland Legislature voted the country out of existence in 1933 when collapsing fish prices led to the threat of default on its World War One debt. This returned the country ...


39

The present US state of Texas was (at least in its own eyes) an independently sovereign country from 1836 until joining the US in 1846. Mexico never really recognized its independence and there was ongoing conflict, the US recognized it from 1837. It is worth noting that (at least in most tellings) the goal was always to join the US, but politics within ...


27

Another interesting example - though almost the opposite of voting to join another country - is Czechoslovakia, which voted to divide itself into two countries, Slovakia and the Czech Republic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovakia You could also include the reunification of Germany, or the various states of the Italian peninsula deciding to become a ...


21

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 ...


20

Since Samuel Huntington is quite popular in political science (which I guess the BBC derived its source from), I suspect that this group of 11 democracies is based on Huntington's thesis of Third Wave Democracy. According to Huntington, the globe experienced three waves of democracy, starting from USA in 1828. For this first wave, Huntington used Jonathan ...


18

First of all, less than 20% of Athenians were citizens, so comparing to the total population voter turnout in the USA may actually be higher. Second, because of the smaller size of Attica as compared to USA the decisions the citizens would vote for had direct consequences to each of them. Third, the voting class was also the class with most citizenship ...


17

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 ...


15

Michael's answer is a very good one but I'd like to add a couple of details. First, Athenian citizens were not always as enthusiastic about voting as you'd think: voting required a whole day which meant they'd be missing out on one day of revenue from labor. To compensate for this, Athenians were paid (type f3 and search for paid) about as much as the daily ...


13

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 ...


13

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.


13

The Crown could not refuse assent without launching a coup d'etat against parliament in circumstances that would have produced outrage against the Crown sufficient to result in an election that would surely return a ministry bound to dismiss the existing Governor General, and, potentially, force a republic. Westminster inspired Crowns have generally sought ...


13

In 1707, the parliament of the sovereign state that was Scotland (with its own currency, parliament and legal system) voted to join an incorporating Union with England. This led to Scottish MPs going to the Parliament in Westminster. The vote was highly suspect; Scottish MPS were openly bribed with land and money to vote for the Union. As a result, a ...


12

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. ...


12

Georgy Lvov and Alexander Kerensky. Though not specifically elected to be the head of the country, they had nevertheless been democratically elected in legitimate elections.


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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, ...


11

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was fought between Pakistan and India. Both were run by democratic governments at the time. Obviously there was also the matter of the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) so it was at least half a civil war, but still two democratic powers fought. Another conflict, on a smaller scale, between India and Pakistan (the ...


11

In 1938 Austria had a referendum on becoming part of Germany. The vote was not democratic as Austria had been occupied by Germany at the time, but it still led to the „Anschluss“ of Austria to Germany.


10

Despite some interesting exceptions (detailed below), the spoiling of ballots or the casting of blank votes as a protest has not, for the most part, been an effective 'political instrument' of the masses for change. Although the percentage of spoiled or blank ballots has increased over the past 30 years, the numbers have rarely been dramatic. The main ...


10

Short Answer: Yes. Long answer: JacobIRR's question is badly flawed. They assume that the royal family owns the country as their private property in all monarchies which is highly inaccurate. They assume that the difference between a monarchy and a republic and between a non democracy and a democracy are more or less identical, which is not correct. There ...


9

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 ...


9

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.


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

First of all, reading history depends strongly on what glasses you put on when you do so. The level of satisfaction regarding the answer to your question will therefore depend very strongly on what you think of when you say "democracy". This is true when you look at a polity in the past as well as the present: in order to compare before with after, ...


8

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 ...


8

Tocqueville originally didn't talk of a mere "experiment" at all. Instead, the french original (De la démocratie en Amérique, Paris: Gosselin, 1835, p. 41) has the following lines (emphasis mine): C'est là que les hommes civilisés devaient essayer de bâtir la société sur des fondements nouveaux, et qu'appliquant pour la première fois des théories ...


8

Does the War of 1812 count as two democracies? Enfranchisement was incomplete for both countries, and one even had slavery, but they were still democratic states. Or do those two qualities make them questionable?


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