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 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 populace, this success was relatively
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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.
Charles Lipson in “Reliable Partners: How Democracies Have Made a Separate Peace,” argues that Democratic Peace Theory offers an explanation as to why democracies, in particular, have avoided the war front. In his delineation, he cites the ideals of bargaining, mutual benefit, reluctance to bear the cost of war, and the restraint placed upon elected official as to why democracies, unlike non-democracies, have avoided conflict for as long as they have (Lipson 10). His argument, alike to other Democratic peace theorists, consist of the idea that all areas should be a democracy, as these benefits exist amongst democracies due to their shared values.
In the years following the First World War, a new era of democracy seemed to be unfolding and it was looked promising. The autocratic regimes in Russia, Germany and Austria, were all overthrown and replaced by republics. The seven new states in Europe all had a republican form of government. Democracy seemed to be doing good in the post-war world.
Going back the road, to the distressing aftermath of World War One, there arose many questions about progressive political coordination of man and if civilization as they knew it then, was one of man’s greatest achievement or a revelation of his weaknesses. Growing questions about democracy were of raveling the minds of every citizen. America as a republic then, had suffered traumatic pains from several civil wars and political corruption and many feared the emergency of the “tyranny of the fifty one percent”. American democracy seemed to have suffered a blow from the start as it was considered as a fragile ideal. In
Eley, Geoff. Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850?2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Nowadays democracy is sometimes assumed like pregnancy, in other words meaning that the democracy should be either present or not. However, there could be more or less democracy. In fact, much depends on what one believes should be in the scope of its definition. Furthermore, democracy is not easy to define as its boundaries are unclear. According to Oxford dictionary, democracy is a system of government in which individuals are involved in the decision-making process about the affairs of the state by means of voting and electing representatives to a parliament. This essay shall start by looking into the routes of democracy in the European Union, then discuss the notion of a
As society and the nations therein progress, more threats to democracy and the liberties it protects arise. Autocracies continue to try to strangle the essence of freedom from the nations they overtake and go as far as to thwart protests that oppose their oppressive regimes, creating a sense of bleakness and making people of these nations feel powerless. With this comes the question of whether democracy will even prevail.
The rise of democracy within Europe was vital to the importance of the individual, and was marked by a transition from the governing by one feudal lord, to the governing by an elected official. This transition brought change not only to humanistic thinking, but also enabled mankind to have basic human rights which improved life for the country’s citizens. This shift of thinking to the rights of individuals was spurred by the Protestant Reformation and the creation of the social contract which enabled a perfect atmosphere for the rise of democracy within Europe.
In retrospect, it’s easy to see that their objectives fell short of their intended goals. Be that as it may, it would be wise to understand the reasoning behind their actions and take a closer look at “democracy” and the expectations behind this powerful word. Furthermore, it’s vital to study
Democracy is often referred to as the rule of the many, but Aristotle called this definition incomplete. In his book “Politics”, he explained that in a city if the majorities are aristocrats and if they have political authority, then it is an aristocracy not a democracy. He therefore defined democracy as when “free people have authority and Oligarchy as when the wealthy have it” (1290b). Plato viewed Democracy as a flawed system with too much inefficiency that would make any implementation of a true democracy not worth it. While Aristotle viewed democracy as a system that could work if it is limited to certain restrictions and if it is the regime that best fits the culture of the people to be governed. In this essay it will be argued that Plato’s view on democracy as a flawed system is more prevalent or more compelling if the current political arena around the world is observed.
The author has been able to fulfill the target of the book, which is to test and answer the questions raised by critics through the provision of evidence of the reason no democracy exists at the present. The author presents the arguments in a chronological way that gives a better understanding of the past, today, and prospective future of democracy. The root of the present democracy is stated in the book and lays the basis of the other arguments in the book. Dahl argues that there are conditions that any state should attain in order for it to be considered as a democratic
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
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