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The importance of democracy

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  • Essay length: 605 words
  • Submitted: 23/11/2009
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AS and A Level United Kingdom

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The Importance of Democracy?

There was a brief period in the history of ancient Greece when democracy of different kinds flourished in the various city-states of that age; it had relatively short life as a political system. Even the most direct forms of democracy, where all free citizens gathered regularly to make important decisions, excluded slaves, women and the uneducated. It was, in essence, reserved for the prominent citizens who enjoyed most of the wealth of the city. They were the only people who were considered to be sufficiently informed to vote. Democracy was short-lived in Greece, and once it had disappeared, it did not reappear in any recognisable form until the eighteenth century.

Two and a half thousand years later, democracy has established itself as the political system preferred by all economically advanced nations. In the meantime, most people had been governed by hereditary monarchs, autocratic rulers or had effectively not been properly governed at all. So what is it about modern society that seems to make democracy so important? We can identify a number of theories to try to answer this question.

Democracy establishes and protects freedom

Towards the end of the eighteenth

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