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Birth of democracy

Power to the people

Etymologically the word democracy stems from the Greek words demos and kratos. Demos translates into people and kratos into rule which indicates a concept where the ruling power lies with the people in a given society.

The first democracy

Democracy is not just a Greek word, but also a Greek invention. The first democratic city was Athens and the style used in the beginning was so called direct democracy where people gathered to talk about concerns and solutions together. New rules and laws were voted through. It must be noted, however, that people in ancient Athens weren't all considered equals. You had to be male and own you own land to be trusted with the power of opinion and vote. Slaves, women and poor people were left out. This kind of "democracy" is not viewed upon as real democracy these days.

The second democracy

The democratic concept faded away in Greece and wasn't rediscovered until 1215 AD, in England. A document called Magna Carta was signed which prevented the king from doing anything he pleased - also the ruler of the nation had to obide by the laws and rules of the country. This was groundbreaking.

Democracy today

These days most democracies are representative, which means that the people elect their leaders/lawmakers on a period-to-period basis. Demoracy is also about protecting the interest of all people, majorities as well as minorities, and especially exposed groups in society. Human rights, quality of life, infrastructure, education, jobs and healthcare are all essential topics in a democracy.

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