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The Evolution of Democracy

How democracy has formed and where America's founding principles of government are from.

Bri Reeves

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of The Evolution of Democracy

The Bill of Rights is the collection of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments are oriented towards the rights of American citizens. Some of the effects of this document is freedom of speech, right to bear arms, right to not be have your home searched and possessions seized without proper warrant, and others.
Articles Of C0nfederation: 1781
The Evolution of Democracy
The Articles of Confederation were created during the American Revolutionary War in order to establish a government that would be recognized from an international standpoint and to give the United State's government a basic structure. However, it wasn't a very good structure, as a unanimous vote was needed for things to happen, and since this rarely happens, the federal government became slightly useless.
United States Constitution: 1788
The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, creating a solid set of rules for how the government will operate. The power of the government is split into 3 branches; executive, legislative, and the judicial. These branches are made equal via a system of checks and balances where each branch watches the other and each branch has some power over the other as well.
Federalism: 1790's
Federalism is the relationship between a country's state governments and its national government. This relationship was especially prevalent in the United States during the 1790's when America was moving from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. People in support of a strong government were called Federalists, and people against it were in a faction called the Anti-Federalists.
U.S. Bill of Rights: 1791
After documents such as the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights were established and enforced more and more limitations on English government seemed to appear. These written documents were all made to protect the rights of the citizens in England because their rights used to be violated often before they were established. Documents like these also exist in American governement and some other small countries as well.
Limited Government: 1790's in England
Amendments 13, 14, and 15: 1865, 1868, and 1870
Amendments 13, 14, and 15, also known as the Reconstruction Amendments, were created after the United States Civil War in order to free and make the slaves from the south into proper U.S. Citizens. The 13th amendment abolished, or got rid of slavery in America. Next, in the 14th, African-Americans were given rights and protections from the government as any other citizen. Then, in the 15th amendment, they were given the right to vote.
Greece: 450 BC
The Greeks were the first people to start enforcing the basic rules of democracy. All men who were citizens, rich or poor would meet and vote on the passing of different laws through a process called direct democracy.
Rome: 350 BC
Rome was one of the first countries to have a representative government because the citizens in Rome exercised civic virtue, or the dedication of oneself to the country for the common welfare despite personal interests. The people had an almost direct role in deciding what should be done in or for their country.
Enlightenment Period: 1689
The English Bill of Rights was one of the first documents to specifically limit the power of the crown and divide that power up by giving most of it to the parliament. Because the people elect some parliament officials the power was essentially also given to the people, therefore heading towards a Democracy-like government. Essays written by Thomas Hobbes in the early 1600's also inspired future philosophies and essays thought up and recorded by John Locke. People like these thought up the foundations of our very government. Ideas such as natural rights; the rights to life, liberty and property and inalienable rights; given rights to US citizens at birth. He also thought up the idea of a "social contract" the idea that all US citizens agreed to set up a government and abide by its laws.
Magna Carta: 1215 in England
This document was the first of it's kind to limit the power of the King in a monarchy. This document was forced onto King John of England by the people to ensure that everyone, no matter what their class may be will all have the same rights . For example, no " free man" could be punished for any crime unless it violated the law of the land.
What is Democracy?
Democracy is a form of government whose principles have been formed and discussed over time. Democracy is a government where elections take place and the power is in the peoples hands. There are different kinds of democracy depending on the country.
Works Cited
19th Amendment: 1919
The 19th amendment to the United States Constitution was the amendment that allowed women's suffrage. Suffrage is the right to vote. Before its ratification, women never had the ability to vote in the United States, even after the 15th amendment.
By Bri Reeves and Maxen McCoy
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