Roots of Democracy

By: Sai K. Aadit M.

What is Democracy?

Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Checks and Balances

The checks and balances are a system which limits a certain branch or the whole government from becoming overpowered. This type of plan was described by a French Philosopher called Montesquieu in 1748. The U.S. has two types of checks and balances system: our three branches of government and our federal system. The Founding Fathers also created a federal system that divided power between the state and national government.

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Individual Rights

Individual rights are privileges that a person has to claim for themselves. The Bill of Rights are a document to protect and list some of the rights of people. An English Philosopher named John Locke published a book about natural rights held by each person. This book was published in 1689 C.E. His ideas reflect on how we think about rights and privileges today.

Rule of Law

The rule of law states that no human is above the law no matter who you are. The concept of the rule of law came from the Magna Carta. This document was made in 1215 by the English. This did not let the King of England do whatever he wants and made him stay in his limits. This was the first document made a king subject to the law. This law also helped the U.S. from having one dictator.

Representative Government

In a representative government, the officials are elected by the citizens and for the citizens. This means that citizens elect their leaders, and those leaders are responsible for the citizens. In the U.S., we elect the president and other leaders. This form of government dated back to the ancient civilization of Rome.

Consent of the Governed

The consent of governed means that the citizens give permission to the government so that they can operate. This is an important aspect of democracy in which people are allowed to vote. This idea came from Greece in 510 BCE.

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