History Of Democracy

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Democracy in America as we know it today did not exactly exist in the same during the time of the colonies. Sure there had been democracy throughout the world since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, but not in the same form as the one that developed into modern day American democracy. Without the advent of certain people and events prior to the years of the signing of the declaration, American democracy as we know it might not exist today.

The theory of self government and government by the consent of the governed was one that had circulated throughout Europe for years prior to the formation of the colonies. The only problem was that the monarch form of government was so prevalent in Europe that no one much less a country had the opportunity to exercise this idea. The colonies in the America's would evidently prove to be the grounds for which these ideas would blossom.

Prior to the drafting of the declaration there was a call for governmental change spurring about in Europe. John Locke, a seventeenth century philosopher, would become one of the most influential people of his time, as well as far past his death. Perhaps no man garnished the idea of self government and government by the consent of the governed more than Locke. Under English rule, the people were subject to the divine right of the king, which stated that god chose some people to rule on earth in his will, and therefore whatever the monarch decided was the will of god. Locke on the other hand had different ideas, and it was those ideas that would lead the founding fathers to the drafting of the declaration. Locke said that the power to govern was not divine, but instead it was obtained...