69

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 ...


41

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 ...


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 ...


28

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 ...


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 ...


23

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, Classical-...


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 things "don't mean ...


19

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 ...


16

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

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 ...


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 ...


14

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 (...


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

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

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

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 ...


12

Was democracy present in India when British colonization began? Democracy, in some fashion, has appeared in India throughout its history. However, just prior to the British arrival in India; representative democracy was not being practiced in regards to government. Though the following is largely a depiction of South Asia the text and links represent the ...


12

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.


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

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

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

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) Finland (1919) Turkey (1923) Ireland (1936) ...


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

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 ...


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