What Is Democracy?

Definition of Democracy

Democracy is derived from the Greek words demos (people) and kratos (rule). It means a government that is ruled by the citizens of the society.

Features of Democratic Government

  • Representatives are elected by the people.
  • Every citizen is allowed to vote in the elections.
  • Everyone has the same political rights, whatever their income, race, religion, etc.
  • The majority party makes the decisions, but individual rights (freedom of speech) are also protected.
  • Certain restrictions are placed on lawmakers’ powers and they can only be in office for a limited amount of time.

Types of Democracy

Direct Democracy

  • Each citizen votes on all important matters.
  • This kind of democracy is suitable for small states with few people.

Representative Democracy

  • The people elect representatives to run the government on their behalf.
  • In the federal republic of USA, people elect the government officials who act on behalf of their constituencies.

History of Democracy

  • Democratic government first came into place in Greece.
  • The Magna Carta (a British document) had 63 clauses that allowed people to have a fair trial and gave them more power than they had before.
  • Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” in 1776 created a stronger and proper democratic government.

Source: What Is Democracy?
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