When discussing the twentieth century in Europe everyone can agree that this period was a brutal one for the continent. A common opinion, many have about this period is that despite all of the turmoil experienced throughout this period, including two world wars, the success of democracy as a style of government was never truly in doubt. This paper will go against this widely held belief, and argue that democracy’s success in this period was not written in stone. As Mark Mazower notes in his Dark Continent text the tale of democracy in the twentieth century, was not one of, an inevitable victory, but rather one “of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists,”.( Preface, Kindle Location 116). This paper will examine important events of the era that factored into the ideological fight for supremacy. While also highlighting examples that show that Europeans largely have not always been incredibly enthusiastic about democracy.
Part 1- The inter-war period: The fall of democracy in Europe Perhaps one of the best examples to demonstrate how democracy’s triumph in Europe was not guaranteed, is the inter-war period. At this point, many countries in Europe were shifting from monarchies to parliamentary rule. Prior to the First World War there were only three republics in Europe, immediately following it at the end of 1918 there were a total of thirteen republics, including Poland and Germany. While these new democratic regimes initially garnered support among the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
The United States was the first successful democracy in modern. Why democracy has worked well in the United States. Why Iraq cannot become a democracy? Why Judaism is not compatible with democracy? What true democracy requires a time commitment? Proponents of democracy believe it is the best political system, although opponents believe it is more complicated, particularly in Mid-East nations.
Democracy, so essential a feature of European countries today, had had to make a bumpy and potholed journey. Basically in all European countries, democracy was nebulous and uncertain in the 19th century, albeit in varying degrees. In Britain, a parliamentary democracy was very much in full bloom, but the inherent love and pride of the British people for their monarchy pre-empted a switch to a full-fledged democratic form of government. As a result, these democratic institutions functioned under a monarchy that controlled the largest empire of the day. In France, the scene was different. In the absence of democratic institutions of the kind Britain had nurtured, the governance the French
Francis Fukuyama; political scientist, economist, and author, in his article “The End of History?” discusses he rise and fall of major ideologies such as absolutism, fascism and communism, and suggests that human history should be viewed in terms of a battle of ideologies which has reached its end in the universalization of Western liberal democracy. Fukuyama concludes that the idea of Western liberal democracy has triumphed in the world through a variety of different ways and is a thriving piece of world order today. However, there are certain flaws to his argument including a US- centric view on the events of the twentieth century.
In the 19th century, Europe was characterized by enormous changes in its economic, social and political sector. Between1815-1830, all over Europe was widespread political unrest regardless of the ongoing industrialization and institutions that were being developed. The period 1850-1900 was further characterized by new inventions, advances in science and global establishment of empires (Goldstein,100). However, the same period also saw a rise in labor and suffrage movements and a rebellious socialism. Such changes meant that the populations of Europe were becoming enlightened in the matters to do with political freedoms especially the indifferent population. There was excess pressure mounting as many demanded free press, and their rights to
The seeds of democracy which were sown and developed back in Ancient Greece provided the foundation for many other developments towards democracy in the western world in the intervening centuries, and it seems very appropriate that two thousand years later these principles came
Eley, Geoff. Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850?2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
As Mark Mazower notes in his Dark Continent text the tale of democracy in the twentieth century, was not one of, an inevitable victory, but rather one “of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists,”.( Preface, Kindle Location 116). This paper will examine important events of the era that factored into the ideological fight for supremacy. While also highlighting examples that show that Europeans largely have not always been incredibly enthusiastic about democracy.
Democracy can be divided into separate different types. Presidentialism is a democratic type of government where president is either the head of state or a representative to the parliament. There are also hybrid regimes that combine different type of democracies to best fit that country’s needs. In other words, there are many types of democracies, although this essay will focus on three types of democratic systems: the presidential system, the semi-presidential system, and the parliamentary system. As for countries that are transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy, they need a type of government that would not bring a sudden change to the political status quo, for it could be devastating, but also slowly, yet steadily, introduce democratic type of governing. It would also need to be resilient to a collapse of democracy and be just at the same time. This essay will try to cover types of democratic systems, including both positive and negative sides, and explain what sort of democratic government would be the best for a country transitioning into a democratic state.
Throughout the years, democratic traditions have grown. Specifically during the enlightenment era, the so called “ age of reason”, some brainy individuals started looking at how governance is organized, then they examined the standards by which they were governed.
In his book, Charles Tilly focuses mainly on the definition and process of democratization, and makes historical-comparative analyses of European case. Tilly argues that democratization process cannot be formulated. There is no common sequence which can lead a state from an undemocratic regime to a democratic one. Instead, he lists some possible casual mechanisms, and reveals their existence at different densities in the examples of democratization between 1650-2000. His assertions build upon the concept of “Public Politics”, which refers to “all externally visible interactions among constituted political actors, including agents of government.” (p.15) Claiming that occurrence of democratization differs depending on the context, Tilly emphasizes
It is important to understand the concept of democratization to examine newly developed democracies more critically and to have a better understanding of the contemporary politics around the world. Since many countries consider themselves as democracies, there needs to be a scale that represents the shared value and aspiration of democracy to evaluate these countries in a critical and objective manner to determine the democratic performance of these governments. The region this essay will be focusing on is central and eastern Europe. When Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republics joined NATO in 1999 (B. C. Biega 2004), it made a great impact in many countries in central and eastern Europe as they start to adopt the concept of democracy in
Olsson (2009) used a temporal approach to analyse the impact of Western colonialism on contemporary levels of democracy using a new data set with dates of colonization, independence, and a colonizing event for all former colonies and dependencies that are regarded as countries today (143 observations). His result in conformity with existing literature divulge that the very heterogeneous era of colonization should be divided into an early ‘mercantilist’ wave and a much later ‘imperialist’ wave with quite different characteristics, which implicates a strong positive effect of colonial duration on democracy, an effect which turns out to be driven primarily by former British colonies and by countries colonized during the imperialist era.
Samuel P. Huntington scrutinizes the Third Wave of Democratization in four parts: 1) The Start of the Third Wave, The Meaning of Democracy, The Waves of Democratization, and The Issues of Democratization. The coup d’état of April 25, 1974 started the Democratization crusade amongst the world’s nations at that time. Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Greece were amongst those who steered towards democratic practices and views. Samuel defines democracy and democratization using several different concepts. He divides democracy’s definition into three parts “1) sources of authority for government, 2) purposes served by government, and 3) procedures for constituting government”. He then provides several examples of how democracy worked in different countries in terms of democratic or undemocratic status (variances amongst democratic political systems) and how it finally became accepted as a legitimate system. Once defined, he was able to discussed the different waves that occurred and how and why they arose and failed. A wave of democratization was well-defined as a “group of transitions from nondemocratic to democratic
Willy Brandt once remarked:” Western Europe has only 20 or 30 more years of democracy left in it; after that it will slide under the surrounding sea of dictatorship” (Crozier, Huntington, Watanuki, 1973, 2). It would seem that democratic governments have become increasingly unable of facing “the challenges of the modern world”. Specifically, democratic European governments have become increasingly incapable to adequately represent the interests of the governed, while economic growth has also produced forces within nations that could potentially lead to the potential “regression”(Crozier, 1973, 49-50) of European states from democracy into tyranny (Crozier, 1973, 49-50).