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A Brief History of Democracy!

Definition:
Democracy is a political system in which the people of a country rule through any form
of government they chose to establish.
Ancient Greek city-states were often run as direct democracies in which all
voting citizens had a voice in what occurred (commoners, women, and slaves
were excluded)
Decision making was limited to a privileged few
Ancient democracy did not presuppose equality of all individuals; the
majority of the populace, notable slaves, women, and foreigners, had no political
rights
Athens, the greatest of the city democracies, limited the franchise to
citizens; they had to be native-born, free men, over 18yrs.
They had the right to vote, hold office, own property, and
defend themselves in court.
They had freedom of speech and freedom of assembly

Responsibility of citizens include:


Serve in the army, in the navy, and in the court of law
Participate in the monthly assembly

The democracies of the city-states of classical Greece and Rome during


the early years of the Republic were unlike the democracies of today
They were direct democracies, in which, all citizens could
speak and vote in assemblies that resembled New England town meetings

What is Democracy?
Democracy is a political system in which the people of a country rule through any form
of government they chose to establish.
Democracy is the best way to meet the diverse needs of the people
People make decisions that reflect the will of the majority
True democratic citizens not only enjoy their rights and freedoms, but they
also take very seriously the responsibilities of living democratically
Open communication and mass participation are also important
responsibilities of the democratic citizen
The democratic citizen upholds
Human dignity
Respects the rights
Works for the common good
Has a sense of responsibility for other people

Elements of Democracy
1. Rule of Law: In democracy, everyone must adhere to some laws (including
leaders) Laws should be known, predictable, and impartial
2. Political Equality: Every citizen has the same right to vote for office and to
speak on public issues
3. Common Good: Democratic citizens should work towards the common
good (what will make the most people safe and secure and happy). Have some
sense of responsibility and caring for others
4. Personal Freedom: People enjoy many personal freedoms such as freedom
of religion and freedom of expression
5. Human Dignity: Democratic citizens should protect and uphold dignity of
all people
6. Political Freedom: People can speak freely from associations, run for office
and vote without being intimidated
7. Being Informed and Getting Involved: Citizens should communicate openly
and participate individually and collectively in issues that shape their community,
nation, and world
8. Respect: Citizens should respect the rights of others

What is Democracy video