Pursuing Democracy : An Analysis Of The Development Of American Government

755 WordsJul 20, 20154 Pages
Pursuing Democracy: An Analysis of the Development of American Government The passing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 marks the beginning of of the United States of America, but the ideas that influenced the development of American government have roots extending to the dawn of civilization. As long as humans have lived in community, the desire to keep order has spawned many experiments in finding an effective system of government. Examination of the development of American government reveals the influence of several civilizations, including ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, British and other European civilizations, and Native American civilizations—particularly the Iroquois Nation. The political theory and government system used by each of these civilizations impacted the thoughts and actions of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, resulting in the government system seen in America today. Influences of Ancient Civilizations Influence of Ancient Greece The Greek city-state of Athens governed itself through a direct democracy, a system of government in which all citizens participate in government through casting a vote (DeLorenzo, 2000). Participation in Athenian democracy was mandatory for all citizens, punishable by monetary fines and physical public humiliation. Athens was unique among Greek city-states because it had one of the largest democracies in terms of population. Responsibilities of citizens in Athens included
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