The Roots Of Democracy

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The Roots of Democracy. | We do not live in a democracy. The United States is a republic, with a representative form of democracy. This is also called a democratic republic, which means we select government officials to represent us. For example, we elect politicians at the local, county, state, and federal levels. We elect mayors, council members, congressmen, senators, and a president to represent us.A democratic republic is not the same as a direct democracy. In a direct democracy, all citizens, not just elected representatives, create and vote directly on each law. The Founding Fathers of the United States did not want, or trust, direct democracy. Click for Republic or Democracy? | Our current form of government is the result of an evolution of some of the following democratic principles, or ideas. | Greek Democracy.The Greeks were the first to use the word democracy. The Greek city-state of Athens is a classic example of Greek democracy. Athenian democracy had two distinguishing features. * Citizens were selected by lot, that is by random drawing, to hold government and court offices. Only generals and a few other officers were elected. * All male Athenian citizens were eligible to speak and vote in the Assembly, which set the laws of the city-state. Women and slaves were not citizens.Ancient Athens is an example of a direct democracy. Click for Athenian Democracy. | Click to view map: Ancient Greece. | Click to view map: Ancient Athens. | | Plato.Greek philosophers influenced our form of government. A Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote The Republic. The Republic is about the ideal, or perfect, State.Plato believed that government should be based on reason and wisdom, not on rhetoric, meaning talk, and persuasion. Plato was not fond of the direct democracy of Athens. He thought most people were unfit to make good decisions, and did not know what

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