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Civics Timeline: Evolution of Democracy
Transcript of Civics Timeline: Evolution of Democracy
Pericles' Funeral Oration During the Peloponnesian Wars, Pericles, a great Athenian general spoke at the funeral for the war dead. His speech outlined many of the fundamental principles of democracy. "Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighbouring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. its administration favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. if we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; not again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition." Excerpt of Funeral Oration England, 1215: Magna Carta King John I of England was the first to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter), a written agreement ensuring the rights of his people. During feudal times, John I made unjust demands of the people of England, including raising taxes and bending the law to suit himself. A group of barons and noblemen gathered together and forced the king to sign the Magna Carta. King John I was now also a subject to the Law of the Land. Magna Carta Basic Principles of the Charter These are a few of the points that make up the Magna Carta.
- The King and his heirs can not arbitrarily apply laws
- The King and his supporters would no longer steal firewood
- Widows would not be forced to remarry
"No freemen shall be taken, imprisoned, ... or in any way destroyed... except by the lawful judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice." 1690: John Locke - Two Treatises on Government An English philosopher named John Locke had a theory of government. He believed that a government's duty was to protect the natural rights of its people to life, liberty, and property. Locke said that the constitution served as a contract between government and people. If broken, the people had the right to overthrow their government. Due to these views, Locke's philosophies were highly controversial at the time. "... Tyranny is the exercise of Power beyond Right... Where-ever Law ends Tyranny begins... whenever the Legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People... By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands... And it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty."
At a time where rules and regulations were rigid, in an England only beginning to change, Locke's works were probably the talk of the town. An Excerpt from "Two Treatises on Government" 1870: Amendment XV to the U.S. Constitution Also known as the Fifteenth Amendment, it is one of the Reconstruction Amendments, very important factors in the reconstruction of South America after the Civil War.
The Fifteenth Amendment basically guarantees the right of all U.S. citizens to vote, regardless of the citizen's "race, colour, or previous condisiton of servitude."
In other words, the African-American citizens of the U.S. had now won an important victory, both for democracy and against racial prejudice. Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation Amendment in Text Evolution of Democracy Alice Zhang 1893: New Zealand - Election Act
Women's Suffrage The Election Act of 1893 is an electoral bill that was passed, containing provisions on women's suffrage (the right of women to vote in elections). Due to majority support, the bill was passed by New Zealand's Legislative Council on September 8th. All women in New Zealand, including Maori and Pakeha, gained the right to vote. Furthermore, Petition for Women's Suffrage The Election Act of New Zealand was a significant step forward for women's suffrage. New Zealand had been the first country to allow women to vote in an election. 1982: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms A Charter signed by Queen Elizabeth II of Canada, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the first part of the Constitution Act of 1982. It guarantees the civil rights of people in Canada, as well as certain political rights. Section 15 Equality Rights: 1. Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. Thank You For Viewing! Athens