Greeks Develop the Beginning of a Democratic System
The Greeks develop the first known governmental system based upon "rule by the people" principles. The word "democracy" is composed of the words "demos", Greek for "people", and "kratein", Greek for "rule".
The Magna Carta is Signed
This is an artist's depiction of King John singing the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was an agreement that stated the law is above the king's ruling. This marked the start of Britain's transition out of monarchy.
The Term "Parliament" is Coined
King Edward I in Britain to introduces the elected body governing system. Although a smiliar system had been used before in the past, King Edward was the first to call it "parliment".
Habeas Corpus Act is Passed
The Habeas Corpus Act, passed in England, states that all individuals have the right to challenge their imprisonment by the authorities. The government in England was pressured into passing this act due to abuse use of power at the time.
The End of the French Revolution
The french revolution brings about many landmark changes. The dethroned king, Louis XVI is executed. France transitions from an absolute monarchy to a republic.
Canada Becomes a Confederation
On this date, the leaders of what is now Canada, established the union that turned the many separate colonies, into the Dominion of Canada. This created the beginnings of the democratic system we now know today where all provinces are ruled under a federal parliament.
The Second British Reform Act is Passed
This second reform act mainly worked to increase the number of people allowed to vote. With more men allowed to vote, results of election became more representative of the entire peoples opinion, and more democratic.
With the many steps foward, there were also many steps back in the history of democracy. The 1917 revolution in Russia, of the "Red Revolution", succeeded in overthrowing the Tsarist autocracy, but only to establish a communist government
The Statue of Westminster is Signed
Hitler Given Absolute Power
Another step back for democracy. Hitler was appointed chancellor and proceeded to pass a bill giving him absolute power. His victory leaded to a "dark age" for democracy in Europe.
The Beginning of the End of Apartheid
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation that separated everyone into groups based on "race". This date marked the start of a series of movements that would eventually lead to the end of Apartheid in South America.
Nelson Mandela is Elected as President of South America
Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected president in South America. He made major contributions towards anti-racism movements and ending racial segregation.
The first free election takes place in Iraq for the first time in half a century. The people in the picture show-off their inked fingers, representing that they have voted.
The Start of the Arab Spring Movements
This date marked the beginning of a series of movements and protests with the goal of reform in the Arab world. One of their main goals was democracy.