Modern Democratic Governments

920 Words4 Pages
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy index map for 2012, nearly half of the world’s population was living under democratic governments. Democracy is spreading throughout the world, although growth has slowed, and many nations have drawn their political inspiration from the United States of America, which was one of the first to govern under a constitutional republic in the modern era. One of the more unique features of our government, which other countries have attempted to adopt, has been that of federalism, which is the political system in which authority is divided among the central government and separate, lower governments, such as America’s individual states. However, the system of checks and balances which the founders placed into the constitution to form a separation of power among the government has not been so readily duplicated by other democratic nations. According to America’s founding fathers, it was vital that the newly established government be separated into equal divisions, to ensure that no single institution monopolized power. They accomplished this by creating three distinctly separate and equally independent branches, which form the infrastructure of the government. According to founder James Madison, the “ambition” of each branch should “be made to counter act ambition” of the other two (Madison, Federalist 51, 1788). There are other techniques of governmental separation, such as parliamentary systems, where the executive is
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