Development in Democracy


Solon and his reforms began

594 BC

In the year 594 BC Solon began his political and economic reforms, which included illuminating all debt, increasing foreign trade, and establishing a court formed by citizens. ( Democracy Timeline Project by Maggie Wong)
Athens in turn was radically reformed into a simple form of democracy with laws lasting for centuries.

Roman Republic is founded

509 BC - 27 BC

According to Ancient Greece: A Concise History, the romans established a form of government that was used by countries for centuries. Although a Republic is very different from a democracy, some basic ideas have been used in the United States' government. EX: Citizen representation, checks and balances, etc.

First recorded democracy

Approx. 508 BC

The first recorded democracy may not have been he first of its kind, but was the first documentation of the form of government. The Athenians were able to have elected representatives, and voting communities, yet not women or slaves. (Democracy Timeline: a Rocky road. BBC News.)


507 BC

Cleisthenes was an Athenian ruler who had attempted on forming a modest form of democracy, he set up a council of 500 male citizens to administer and propose laws, among others. He contributed to the modern world, as the US House of Representatives was based on a foundation of his ideas. (Green, Peter. Ancient Greece: a Concise History)


427 BC - 347 BC

A writer and philosopher in Ancient Greece, Plato had written his thoughts on different types of government, including democracy. According to, his writings summed up and help develop the idea of democracy and how it works.


384 BC - 322 BC

A leading politician theorist, Aristotle wrote about democracy and comparing it to other forms of government (although he wasn't very fond of it). His ideas revolutionized the idea of democracy and helped develop the vision further. (

King William the Conqueror

1066 - 1087

William the Conqueror was the king of England, and although his changes in his provinces haven't led directly to democracy, bits and pieces of his ideas have been used in modern day democracy and government. According to, some of his bigger contributions included the Courts of Common Pleas and the use of twelve person juries which is used in the United States.

King Henry the ll

1133 - 1189

Established the Grand Jury System which allowed jury trials. This influenced the US modern system of jury, as well as a few other provinces. (

Magna Carta


According to World History: Patterns of Interaction, the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, establishing the laws that made the current ruler, King John, give up his reign and give the people power. It listed rights and privileges of the people as well as certain rules that must be followed.

Parliament is established


In England of 1295, Parliament was established which consisted of 650 members in the house of the commons, who could question government policies and consider and propose new laws. (Parliament's Role.

Thomas Hobbes

1588 - 1679

Although Thomas Hobbes didn't necessarily agree with democracy, his ideas had helped contribute to the idea. According to How did Thomas Hobbes Change the World? By Sarah Dunstan, his ideas led to people such as Locke to investigate his theories, such as limitation of government rule and separation of science and religion, affected the idea of democracy. His social contract idea also inspired the Us Constitution with its ideas of the government protecting the people.

John Locke

1632 - 1704

John Locke, a philosopher in the Enlightenment, made a big effect in democracy with his thoughts and ideas. His main ideas included the ideas that people are born with natural rights: life, liberty, and property. These rights are all supposed to be protected by the government. (


1689 - 1755

Montesqeau, a Philosopher and French lawyer, helped develop the idea of democracy with his theories. According to, he believed in the separation of powers between the government and the people, the legislative, executive, and judicial branch.


1694 - 1778

Voltaire is a famous writer and philosopher in the Enlightenment. His idea brought to light the idea of separation of church and state, influencing the American democracy. (World History: Patterns of Interaction)


1712 - 1778

Rousseau was a French writer and philosopher who had introduced the idea that government is a social contract between the people and the government. According to , he wrote on multiple ideas in a book, including democracy, classifying laws, and different systems of legislation.