Roman Republic: Oligarchy or Democracy While the system of government employed by the Roman Republic may appear to be democratic in theory, there is some debate as to whether one can consider the manner in which it functioned practically as being truly democratic. The main debate centres on the issue of whether the Roman Republic was a democracy or an oligarchy. Issues such as unequal distribution, a political structure that favours the elites, and the power of individuals, make an argument in favour of oligarchy, while the system of election by popular vote, the time limitation on holding office, and the sharing of power at every level of government, combine to make a case for democracy. All of these structures were exploited and manipulated
Namely, they maintain that the elite formulated it for the elite. This argument alone unearths a number of questions concerning issues. One would wonder whether the political regime of the Late Roman Republic was oligarchic or democratic. In addition, this led many scholars, such as J. North and A. Jakobson, to investigate further the roman election and its
Simonton’s argument on oligarchy as an ideological commitment to anti-democracy that was historically preserved by political institutions is a brand new scholarly theory. How does Beard’s historical account of the rise of the Republic maybe tell a story of an oligarchy trying to accommodate the popularity of popular government while still maintaining control? The rise of the Republic is poorly documented yet again by the Romans, Beard notes. The Roman mania for simplification hid much of what had happened; this simplification also arose from the fact that there were few records. Beard describes the political structure of the early Republic and looks at Barbatus as a primary example.
In terms of political and social structures, manorialism and feudalism were two major ones in Western Europe. Manorialism was a system of reciprocal economic and political obligations between landlords and peasants. Most individuals were serfs living on self-sufficient agricultural estates, also known as manors. In return for protection, they gave lords part of their crops and provided labor services. (p.215) Years later, Western Europe became very prosperous, and this prosperity promoted political change, influenced by structures established in more unstable times.
Because of British traditions in government, and the distance between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain the colonies started developing democratic features in their government. Some features like equality, voting, and human rights were adopted. The colonial America’s democratic government had some undemocratic features so democracy was a work in progress. Some examples of democratic features, works in progress, and undemocratic things are representative government, unfair voting, and selective human rights. An example of a democratic feature in the government at the time is that they held elections for the representatives in the House of Burgesses.
Athens, as the leader in the early experiment of democracy had set the foundation for the later development of modern democracy. Although, the other government forms such as monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy and tyranny had fulfilled their political functions at the time in Greece, they appeared to be inferior to the democratic system. Under those none democratic systems, political powers were concentrated in the hands of an individual, or a tyrant, or a small group of the rich and the powerful; most citizens were not even able to take part in government offices; let alone the slaves, non-citizens along with the women who had no political rights at all. Under the rule of the none democratic government system, the social and economic problems and class conflicts appeared to be more intensified. The ruling class (or individual) appeared to be more strict and suppressive towards the commoners, and more brutal and cruel to the
Unlike other European countries, Germany didn’t have the traditions or the experience to smoothly integrate a democracy into its national fabric. Additionally, largely due to the fact that the democracy was put into effect by Germany’s adversaries from the war, the democracy was seen as a punishment for losing. Germans helplessly watched as their beloved Kaiser was forced to abdicate the throne, and as new and unfamiliar leaders, many of whom were members of the Socialist party,
Therefore, it can be concluded that the physical features of Western democracy may be applied in Thailand since the country has adopted similar physical features, but the suitability of the normative features between both democracies are not in harmony that affect one’s perceptions about each other’s norms. Thai-style democracy should features elements that are viewed as compatible with the Thai environment; such as requirements for sustaining stability that should be achieved by upholding the monarchy, exercising military intervention, and adopting the hierarchical system, unlike the elements as suggested by Western-style
Based on Democracy Barometer – a project combines the efforts of researchers from the University of Zurich and the Social Science Research Center Berlin that was developed within the framework of the NCCR (National Centre of Competence in Research) Democracy and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation ¬¬– democracy rests on freedom, equality, and control. One can assume these are the normative features of general democracy. The starting point is the premise that democratic system attempts to establish a good balance between the normative, interdependent values of freedom and equality and it requires control for all normative principles to be harmonically
Many historians look at this issue with hindsight, comparing Hitler’s government to the model of one today. Instead, Hitler’s government should be analysed while keeping in mind that Germany was a totalitarian state. Since the country believes in a one ruler system, the government is very likely to be structured similarly as well. This in turn raises the question, through the system Hitler implemented, how were politicians able to prove themselves worthy of power to Hitler? Did this structure of the government truly hinder the rise of these politicians?