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Evolution of Democracy

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Morgan Bull

on 26 May 2011

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Transcript of Evolution of Democracy

Evolution of Democracy 1750. BC: Code of Hammurabi 431 B.C: Pericles' Funeral Oration 1215: King John 1- Magna Carta 1350: Iroquos Confederacy Council 1789: Declaration of the rights of man 1690: John Locke- Two treatises on
government 1870: Amendment XV to the
US constitution 1893: New Zealand-
Election Act 1948: United Nations- Universal
Declaration of Human Rights 1982: Canadian charter of rights and freedoms By Morgan Bull The code of Hammurabi was the earliest written legal code for the government. In comparison to contemporary standards, most of the code is very severe in regards to punishments. The code consisted punishments for theft and murder and also rules on trade, marriage and divorce. It introduced the ideas that government should be subject to the law and that laws should be based on public laws. The code of Hammurabi helped in the development of democracy as it was a written law and it was consistent and so it is an important concept. At the end of the first war, Athenians held a funeral for all those who died. The funeral was delivered by Pericles, who was a general, a politician and a strong believer in democracy. In his speech, he explains how he believes that their society was governed by the the whole population, not just one group of people. The Funeral Oration was a characteristic statement of Athenian ideology which contained the patriotic sentiment felt by those Athenians. In Pericles’ speech, he says that democracy allows men to advance because of merit, not wealth or inherited class. This helped the development of democracy because in a democracy, there is equal justice for all in private disputes. The Magna Carta was an English Charter that started a trend away from monarchy and toward individual rights. It contains 63 different articles and was issued in 1215 by King John 1. The Magna Carta was one of the first steps towards the end of the monarchy and the beginnings of democratic governments. It was important to the development of democracy because it limited power of the monarchy. It also encouraged and influenced the development of common law and various constitutional documents. The Iroquois confederation council was composed of five big families; Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Senica. In 1722, the nations were joined by Tuscarora, who had migrated north. The six nations is the oldest democracy known on this continent and the motto of the five nations was: “One heart, one mind, one law”. They practised a form of representative democracy in which votes were given to delegates. The Great Law of Peace was an unwritten constitution which allowed participation of people in government, including women. They believed in freedom of speech and the rights of an individual. This helped to the development of democracy because they were the first democracy group and they introduced the idea of people in government and freedom of speech. The two treatises of government was a work of political philosophy written by John Locke. The first treatise criticises Robert Filmer’s patriacha, which argues in support of the divine rights of kings. He disagrees with Filmer’s opinion that each man is born a slave to serve natural born kings. Locke believes that every man should virtuously govern themselves according to God’s law. The second treatise, which is more related to the development of democracy, is Locke’s proposed solution to the political commotion in England and other countries. He adopted the essential elements of the Aristotelian classification of constitutions and this laid the foundation for modern forms of democracy and for the Constitution of the United States. In the second treatise, he mentions how each person is born equally. The Declaration of Man is a fundamental document of the French Revolution defining the individual rights and collective rights. It addresses neither the status of women or slavery, and it is valid all the time at every place. It was made during the French Revolution as the first step towards creating a constitution for France. It was proposed by Marquis de Lafayette. Its principles can be extended to logically mean political and social democracy. This helped the development of democracy because if it weren’t for this declaration being created, the rights of an individual would not be recognised and today’s society could be very different. The amendment XV to the US constitution prohibits each government in the US to reject a citizen the right to vote depending on their race or colour. This helped the development of development as it would have improved racial issues as it was a law they anyone could vote, making their race or colour irrelevant. It was part of the reconstruction amendments. In the 1890’s and onwards, there were many strict voting laws and so the amendment XV was not put to as much use as it should have been. This would have helped the development of democracy a lot more, if it was more forced, and states of the USA would have actually followed it. For example, North Carolina Constitution removed it. If this law was followed, racial issues would have been minor as they were viewed as equals when it came to voting. The first country in the world to allow women to vote was New Zealand in 1893, and countries such as Britain and the US only allowed women to vote after the First World War. The reason that they didn’t allow women to vote for the longest time, was because they believed women would not adjust to the difficult times of politics, and only men could deal with these times. After the New Zealand Election Act, it persuaded some states in America to follow their lead, and also some parts of Australia. This was a major help to the development of democracy because now women were seen as equals when it came to voting. If it weren’t for the election act, maybe today, women would not be allowed to vote. This allowed people to view every human being as equal and they should be entitled to their own opinion, and vote. The reason the United Nations declaration of human rights was enforced, was because of the experiences of the Second World War one. It was a global expression that all human beings are entitled to particular rights. It consists of 30 articles. The link between democracy and human rights is recognized in 21(3) as it states: “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” This means that there will be votes for everyone, as everyone is equal, and people can state their opinion. This helped the development of democracy because the declaration of human rights stated the rights that people are entitled to. This creates a sense of independence and order throughout the country. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the constitution of Canada and it states civil rights of every citizen in the country and guarantees certain political rights. It relates to the Magna Carta, as they both say how no one is above the law and this applies to everyone in Canada. The Charter protects democratic rights, mobility rights, aboriginal rights, minority language education rights, language rights, equality rights, legal rights and fundamental freedoms. This has helped the development of democracy because the charter has addressed many issues in today’s society. These issues are recognized, and if it weren’t for the charter, the world wouldn’t be at as much peace as we are today. The charter combined all the past knowledge of the traits in democracy: freedom and rights. Over time, we have seen every person as equal, whether they are white, black or female.
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