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Roots of Democracy. World History Belcastro. Two Categories of Government. Democracy – Government by the people / Decisions made by the people Autocracy - Government by one person (King / Queen / Emperor / Pharaoh). Decision Making Autocratic or Democratic?.

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Roots of democracy

Roots of Democracy

World History


Two categories of government
Two Categories of Government

  • Democracy – Government by the people / Decisions made by the people

  • Autocracy - Government by one person (King / Queen / Emperor / Pharaoh)

Decision making autocratic or democratic
Decision MakingAutocratic or Democratic?

  • Teacher decides there will be a test on Friday

  • Group of Friends decide on which movie to go to by discussing three possible movies and voting on which one they want to see.

  • Fast food Manager decides to give workers a dollar per hour raise

Autocratic or democratic
Autocratic or Democratic?

  • Parents listen to daughter complain about staying out late and decide to let child stay out 1 hour later.

  • Parents allow all 3 children to choose (vote) what vacation to go on.

  • Mayor, elected by citizens, decides to build a new city hall

  • Citizens voted in favor of a city tax measure to increase funding to schools

Autocratic advantages
Autocratic Advantages

  • Efficient

  • Order

  • Changes can Happen Quickly

Autocratic disadvantages
Autocratic Disadvantages

  • Needs a Strong Leader

  • Decisions may not be interest of everyone

  • Too much power leads to corruption

Democratic advantages
Democratic Advantages

  • Everyone has a say

  • Corruption more difficult

  • Power too diffuse

Democratic disadvantages
Democratic Disadvantages

  • Messy, takes time

  • Sometimes hard to make difficult decisions

  • Need an Educated Citizenry

Autocratic forms of government
Autocratic forms of Government

  • Theocracy

  • Monarchy

  • Tyranny

  • Oligarchy

  • Aristocracy

Democratic forms of government
Democratic forms of Government

  • Direct Democracy

  • Republic

  • Parliamentary System

  • Constitutional Monarchy


  • Total Lack of Government (State of Nature)

  • No Rules, No Leaders


  • Rule by the masses/people

  • No Leader All Decisions made by the community

  • Created in ancient Athens

  • True Democracies only work in small groups


  • Rule by People’s Representative

  • Created in Ancient Rome

    • Senator = Representative


  • Rule by Religion

  • Leader: The Priest or Main Religious Figure

  • Examples: Ancient Egypt, Modern Iran, Vatican City


  • What would be some problems with having government based on a single religion?


  • Rule by a single leader, typically claims Divine Right


  • Rule by a few individuals


  • Rule by the Wealthy

Athenian democracy solon cliesthenese and pericles
Athenian Democracy(Solon, Cliesthenese, and Pericles)

Athenian democracy solon cleisthenese and pericles
Athenian Democracy(Solon, Cleisthenese, and Pericles)


  • Outlawed Slavery

  • 4 Classes based on Wealth not Heredity

  • Only 3 Higher classes were able to hold public office

  • Fairer code of laws

  • Despite reforms Athens continued to be an autocracy


  • Reorganized Assembly

  • Allowed all citizens to submit laws for debate and passage

  • Created Council of 400

    • Advised Assembly

    • Seen as Founder of Greek Democracy


  • Led Athens in Golden Age 461-429 B.C

    • Established Direct Democracy

    • Increased number of public officials

    • Poorer citizens were able to participate

Greek philosophy
Greek Philosophy

  • Greek Thinkers Assumptions

    • 1.Universe is orderly

    • 2.People can understand order of universe

  • Respect for Human Intelligence and Reason allowed Democracy to flourish


  • “The Republic”

  • Rule of Philosopher Kings

    • Democracy = Rule of the Appetites

    • Aristocracy= Rule of the Rich


  • “Politics”

  • Man is by nature political

  • Legitimate Government- common good

    • Tyranny?, Democracy?

  • Constitutional Government

Roman republic
Roman Republic

  • Roman Society was made of Plebians and Patricians

  • Rome’s Republic

    • Senate

    • 2 Consuls

    • Assembly

    • Dictator

Roman law
Roman Law

Twelve Tables step toward fair government

Complied into “Justinian Code”

“government of laws not men”


Hebrew’s Monotheism

-Created in God’s image, live moral lives

- “Divine Spark”

- God Given Rights, Freedom

- 10 Commandments

- Ethical vs. Legal Code


Jesus of Nazareth

- emphasized morality equality and compassion

- spread of Judeo-Christian ideas through Roman Empire


  • Renewed interest in Classical Culture

  • Humanism

  • Italian vs. Northern Renaissance

  • Spread of Ideas through Printing Press


  • Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

    • Individuality and freedom from Church

  • England’s Protestant Revolution

  • Calvinism

  • Catholic Reformation

England s medieval democratic developments
England’s Medieval Democratic Developments

  • Henry II

    • Jury System

    • Common law

  • King John

    • Magna Carta (Great Charter)

      • Contract between King and Nobles

      • Governance according to law

      • Due Process of Law

      • Consent of Governed (Parliament)

England s civil war
England’s Civil War

  • King James I and Divine Right

  • Charles I and the Petition of Right

  • 1642- Charles tries to Arrest Parliament

  • 1642-1649 English Civil War

    • Royalists/Cavaliers vs. Roundheads

    • 1649 Roundhead victory under Oliver Cromwell’s Leadership

    • 1649 Charles I Beheaded

England s glorious revolution
England’s Glorious Revolution

  • Cromwell first establishes a commonwealth

  • Cromwell tears up constitution and becomes Lord Protectorate

    • Puritan Morality

  • Restoration of the Monarchy = Charles II

    • Habeas Corpus

  • Rule of James II

  • William and Mary and the Glorious Revolution

    • Bill of Rights, Cabinet System