Democracy definition simple/origin/characteristics/types


Political and government system where power is held by the people, and enforced by electing their leaders; Although there are many types of democracies, these are the bases. Democracy definition simple

Definition of democracy Simple

Simply, democracy is a form of state organization, through which all members of society have participation (through vote) in government. Through the election of representatives, the people give legitimacy to the Government which, in the ideal case, carries out policies to improve the quality of life of all citizens.

The purpose of democracy is to implement a model of social organization that is as fair as possible, through universal suffrage and equality before the law.

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Types democracies 

There are several types of democracies, five to be more specific, which we will see in detail:

  1. Direct democracy:  We can attribute this type of democracy to Athenian Greece , here the members of society make political decisions directly in assemblies.
  2. Liberal democracy : Liberal  democracy is a form of representative democracy, only characterized by certain particular aspects: existence of a Constitution, right to private property, freedom of expression, representation of political minorities, among others.
  3. Indirect or representative democracy: The members of the society elect representatives, through the vote, giving them legitimacy to govern. Elections are held every certain period of time and the positions cannot be filled for life.
  4. Popular democracy:  Democratic form that arises in so-called “revolutionary” countries. We can find them, for example, in Eastern Europe and in Asia in the context of the Cold War . Here democracy is put at the service of the popular classes (peasantry and proletariat).

Characteristics of Democracy 

  • Political participation:  It gives voice and vote to those non-political people so that they can exercise their participation, and can be heard. Democracy definition simple
  • Fundamental rights:  Respects fundamental rights, does not contradict them or make them vulnerable; if someone does, protocols are followed to make them recant and / or serve a sentence based on it.
  • Political pluralism:  Power is not centralized, but divided into different political figures. To avoid centralizing is to avoid bias.
  • Majority principle:  The consensus of the parties is sought, even if there is no unanimity, and it is taken as a valid option.
  • Organic separation of functions:  Not all have the same functions, this implies that each one specializes in fulfilling a role within a political organization chart.
  • Political representation: You vote, and in your vote you have (a fragment of) the power to decide who will represent you.

Origin of Democracy

The origin of democracy goes back to Ancient Greece. After passing through the Dark Ages (1150 – 700 BC), different city-states called polis were formed in the Greek territory  ( particularly in Athens). It is in these polis where they begin to organize democratically in assembly.

These assemblies of the Athenian people were made up of free men. Decisions involving the polis were made in the assemblies. In Ancient Rome we find similar forms of organization.

However, the path to democracy today cannot be seen as a linear and seamless process. During the Middle Ages , for example, the record of this form of organization from Greece was lost.

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History of Democracy Democracy definition simple

The origin is in Ancient Greece, although other societies have also been organized democratically throughout history (tribal democracy), the beginning of what we know as democracy arises in Athens around 500 BC. C.

We also said that we cannot think of the history of democracy as a linear process. We know that throughout history there were other forms of organization such as feudalism or societies under the control of a king (in some cases considered a god on earth, for example, in Ancient Egypt ).

In the history of Rome we find democratic forms of organization. This is the case of the Roman Republic, where the commoners managed to occupy places in the government alongside the patricians.  Democracy definition simple

Another case where we find democratic forms is in the medieval cities of northern Italy , city-states were formed where, along with the aristocracy, prominent merchants and citizens were also part of the government. Some of these cities acquired an important power in the region, it is the case of Florence and Venice.

Finally, it is in Northern Europe,  in countries such as Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands, where political institutions emerge that would mark the future of democracy: National Parliament made up of elected representatives, and local governments elected by the people who ultimately they were subordinate to the national government . The creation of assemblies and the participation of free people are extended, we see the characteristics of representative democracy in the making.

Examples of democracies today

Currently, the vast majority of the countries of the world live under a democratic regime. Although it is necessary to analyze the particular cases, in general all the countries share the  characteristics described above. Even today we find monarchies  in places like Europe, however, they are immersed in the democratic regime.

EXAMPLES OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACES – Argentina , Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Mexico , etc. Democracy definition simple

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