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Does Democracy Work?

  • Date Submitted: 10/20/2010 04:39 PM
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Does Democracy Work?

Democracy has always been the desire of many people, but did not come into effect in government systems until used by the Greeks and Romans in the early years B.C. Unlike the representative type democracy used in the United States, the Greeks and Romans used a direct democracy, one in which every citizen votes on every issue. Citizens cast their votes using ballot coins. Some coins had holes in the center while others were solid. The solid and hollow centers of the coins represented “yes” or “no”. This was the very beginning of democracy.
Before democracy, many countries were ruled by autocracy, monarchy, theocracy, or oligarchy. Autocracy is rule by one person who has total power, like a dictator. Like autocracy, monarchy is rule by one person, but he/she is of a Royal Family. Theocracy on the other hand is a government system in which religious believers control the government. Finally, oligarchy is rule by a small, privileged ruling class.
While governments ruled by one person or a ruling class worked for many years, they often resulted in wars, unhappy citizens, separation of families, and frequent change of ruthless rules. The answer to most of these problems was democracy. Democracy spread the powers of the government between two or more branches, to insure that one person or department would not become too powerful. Also, democracy allowed citizens of the city state or country to vote on issues regarding their town. At first, the citizen class was much like a very confidential “club”. Only men were allowed to be citizens and vote in the government, and the only way to be a citizen was to be born one. Women, foreigners, or slaves could not become citizens.
Whereas the first democracies were only open to born citizens, modern governments allow foreigners and women to become voting citizens. In the USA, a citizen over the age of eighteen is allowed to vote. The USA is controlled by a representative type democracy, one in which...


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