Democratization Of Democracy And Autocracy In The United States

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The government of the independent states of the world is usually either autocracy or democracy. Autocracy refers to a system where one person has absolute power over a nation. Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. The first wave of democratization started in the early 19th century and persisted until the 1920’s after which many democracies reverted to autocracy. Many democracies failed, creating the first reverse wave. After World War II had ended, the second wave of democratization came along. It was relatively brief with the bulk of countries deferring to autocracy by the 1950’s. The mid-1970’s brought the third wave of democratization which continued in…show more content…
During this time, the world saw as many as 33 democracies worldwide ("Stanford University News Service," 1993, p. 1). By 1942, as World War II was underway, the number of democracies dropped to 11. A notable improvement to democracy in the United States during this wave is that on August 26, 1920, women were granted the right to vote (Golbin-Goodman, 2016, p. 1). The second wave of democratization began following World War II. With the allied victory over Nazi Germany, the world acknowledged up to 52 democracies between 1943 and 1962. Democracy was imposed on the losing countries and suffrage was expanded to include all males. Countries such as Germany and Italy reestablished democracies, and a large number of European third world countries achieved their independence (Shively, 2014, p. 153). While many democracies survived, many also fell to military coups. Transitions between autocracy and democracy between 1950 and 1990 occurred mostly in Latin America. The United States at this time was as always improving democracy. Many notable things happened during this time to include the 1954 decision by the United States Supreme Court to outlaw racial segregation in public education
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