Democracy - Research Article from Governments of the World

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 11 pages of information about Democracy.
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Democracy

Democracy originated in ancient Greece. The Greek words demo kratia mean rule or power (kratia) of the common people (demos). For the Greeks, to live in a democracy was to live in a political community (polis, or city-state) characterized by popular rule. Ultimate sovereignty or empowerment was intended to be shared equally among all freeborn citizens of a community. Viewed this way, democracy had—and continues to have—two core meanings. First, it refers to a kind of power or authority exercised equally by all the people of a political community. Second, it refers to a form of government or a particular kind of rule, in contrast to other forms of government such as monarchy, aristocracy, dictatorship, or oligarchy.

Democracy is most often viewed as a form of government based on the principle of majority rule. Majority rule is simply a principle of voting, however; popular...

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This section contains 3,020 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Democracy Encyclopedia Article
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Democracy from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.