History: European/What made the Democratic Revolution "democratic?" term paper 3600

History: European term papers
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Democratic Revolution

During the second half of the eighteenth century, a revolution called the Democratic Revolution took place in Europe. This was a time when many main aspects of modern democracy were reformed. The Democratic Revolution dramatically changed the governments of Europe, and affected both sides of the Atlantic. The Revolution was known to be democratic due to its classlessness, absence of supreme power, and its representations.

First, the Revolution in Europe was democratic because of its ideas of virtual classlessness. The people were now truly one nation in unity, and citizenship. "The revolution movement announced itself everywhere as a demand for 'liberty and equality'," (P + C, 343). This meant that there were no differences within the classes. Aristocracy was nearly done away with, and received no special treatment in the government.

Second, the revolution in Europe was democratic because of its absence of supreme power. There was no longer one sole person in charge of governmental decisions. Officials were each removable and held a certain position constituted to them. "There must be no 'magistrate' above the people, no self-perpetuation or cooperation in office, no rank derived from birth and acknowledged in the law," (P + C, 343). Thus, inherited right to ruling, feudalism, and absolutism were done away with, making room for a more opportune government.

Third, the revolution in Europe was democratic because of constitutions, representation, and religious connections. In this new ruling system, the governments demanded "declarations of rights and explicit written constitutions," (P + C, 343). Rules and laws needed to be concrete. Next, each social group would be represented equally in the government, as opposed to the higher classes receiving larger representation. "…in which each voter should count for one in a system of equal representation. Representation by numbers, with majority rule replaced the older idea…" (P + C, 343). Also, the concept that the government was linked to religion was done away with, and became undermined in the new, democratic government.

A democratic government can be described as a system of people under equal opportunity to represent each social class and rule its designated area in a fair manner. The new democratic system in Europe was just like this. It did away with class segregation, government protected by religion, and supreme power. The Democratic Revolution in Europe was democratic because it worked to improve its conditions by focusing more on the unity of its country and people, and equal representation and opportunities.

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