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A Brief History of Democracy. Ancient Greece, 508 BC A form of democracy was established more than 2500 years ago in Athens, Greece Greeks with full citizenship.

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Presentation on theme: "A Brief History of Democracy. Ancient Greece, 508 BC A form of democracy was established more than 2500 years ago in Athens, Greece Greeks with full citizenship."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Brief History of Democracy

2 Ancient Greece, 508 BC A form of democracy was established more than 2500 years ago in Athens, Greece Greeks with full citizenship were guaranteed the right to membership in the Assembly, freedom of speech, and equality before the law Women and slaves did not have these rights Athens was one city. Cities were like little countries. A city state was called a “polis.” One word that comes from that is “Metropolis” (metropolitan). What other word comes from “polis”?

3 A Brief History of Democracy England, 1215 King John was pressured into signing a document called the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta said even the king had to follow the laws of a country. Naturally King John didn’t want to sign it.

4 A Brief History of Democracy North America, 1350 Native groups formed the “Iroquois Confederacy” Representatives from five native nations met to agree upon things that affected them all Later a sixth nation joined as well

5 A Brief History of Democracy Religion and Philosophy Inspire How You Govern What you think about people and groups of people, and what would be good, and what is bad, has a huge effect on how you think government should work. John Calvin thought that only certain people were “God’s people” and that others were definitely going to go to Hell and there was nothing anyone could do. Thomas Hobbes thought humans were naturally selfish and bad, and society had to stop that. John Locke thought that people were naturally reasonable and tolerant. What do you think?

6 A Brief History of Democracy United States of America, The Declaration of Independence was signed to announce (declare) that America would not be under the rule of British King George III anymore. -It said that “all men are created equal.” (most of the men who wrote and signed this document still owned slaves for 100 years afterward) - It also said that governments “derive their power from the consent of the governed” Much of the thinking in this comes from John Locke

7 A Brief History of Democracy France, Declaration of the Rights of Man was written. emphasized liberty of all men, equality of all men, and fraternity of all men Did not include the liberty and equality of women and slaves Was an attempt to remove power from the king and the Catholic Church. Eventually the French used guillotines to cut the heads of the ruling rich people, including the king, and tried to abolish religion entirely through violence.

8 A Brief History of Democracy India, India had been conquered by the British Monarchy and wanted to rule themselves again. - Mahatma Gandhi used a form of protest called “passive resistance” to win. He starved himself, led marches and parades, and refused to fight or resist in any way when arrested. If the police grabbed his arm, he went limp so they were forced to carry him. Hippies learned a lot from him. - He taught that truth and pacifism in the face of lies and violence would win. He got freedom for his country, and was assassinated.

9 A Brief History of Democracy Paris, 1948 After the Second World War, the countries of the world formed the United Nations. The intention was to stop nations from infringing on certain basic human rights (after the Holocaust, this seemed quite important) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written, outlining the rights of all human beings. This document was very popular in the West, but Eastern countries, and Islamic peoples in particular, felt that some of these freedoms could not be followed without breaking their religious faith. Animal rights Children's rights Civil rights Collective rights Equal rights Fathers' rights Gay rights Group rights Human rights Inalienable rights Individual rights Legal rights Men's rights Natural right Negative & positive Reproductive rights Self-defense Social rights "Three generations" Women's rights Workers' rights Youth rights

10 A Brief History of Democracy Canada, 1982 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to our Constitution and signed by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. Our rights are outlined in great detail therein.

11 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: (section 2), Fundamental Freedoms: freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association.

12 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Democratic Rights: the right to participate in political activities and the right to a democratic form of government: Section 3: the right to vote and to be eligible to serve as member of a legislature. Section 4: a maximum duration of legislatures is set at five years. Section 5: legislatures must sit at least once a year

13 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: (section 6), Mobility Rights: the right to enter and leave Canada, to move to and take up residence in any province, to reside outside Canada.

14 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Legal Rights: Section 7: right to life, liberty, and security of the person. Section 8: right from unreasonable search and seizure (only if the authorities believe someone is a threat to another, to society or to themselves, is such a search justified). Section 9: freedom from arbitrary detainment or imprisonment. Section 10: The right to legal counsel and the guarantee of habeas corpus. Section 11: rights in criminal and penal matters such as the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Section 12: Right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment. Section 13: rights against self-incrimination (this is most seen during plea bargains between the accused and the crown) Section 14: rights to an interpreter in a court proceeding.

15 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: equality rights: (section 15): equal treatment before and under the law, equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination.

16 A Brief History of Democracy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Language Rights: generally, the right to use either the English or French language in communications with Canada's federal government and certain provincial governments. There are many limits and provisos for language rights

17 A Brief History of Democracy South Africa, 1994 Countries in the southern part of Africa were run by the descendents of white settlers Black citizens were segregated and not allowed to vote. This was called Apartheid (which means “apart-ness”) Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years as he fought to have this changed, and the pop musicians of the world formed “Artists Against Apartheid” to protest it, giving free concerts all over the world to “raise awareness” By 1994, Apartheid was gradually phased out and democratic (everyone voting) systems were put in place.

18 A Brief History of Democracy Protest: In America, various people like Bill Maher and the Dixie Chicks were fired, boycotted and otherwise had their careers ruined because they publicly said they did not agree with the American “War On Terror” and people wanted to protest their protesting. It is legal for people to protest, of course. Even these people protesting at a gay funeral

19 A Brief History of Democracy Today Today there are still countries in the world where: women are put in jail if they fail to ward off a rapist, allegedly non-virginal wives have their necks broken by their husband with help from their father, Homosexuals are hung or stoned to death. Baby’s genitals are ritualistically mutilated, petty theft is punishable by having a hand cut off, torture, murder, life imprisonment and executions are carried out by soldiers and police if political leaders are questioned.

20 A Brief History of Democracy Rights Do countries have the right to believe that people should be killed for certain things? Do governments have a right to represent the majority of the voter’s wishes to have certain groups excluded? If democracy means the majority get their way, what happens to minorities?


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