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