Ancient Roots of American Democracy


First city-states arise in Sumer

5300 BC - 3500 BCE

The government in the city-states was tied to religion. A temple dedicated to a god was located at the center of each city-state. The city-states were ruled over by a governor, a king, making them monarchies. The theory that best fits these states would be the Divine Right Theory; the rulers have power because of the gods. There were upper and lower classes, and the king was the source of authority.

Sargon of Akkad formed empire

2334 BC - 2279 BC

Sargon of Akkad was a king/ emperor, so the government was a monarchy. He was a successful and quite popular king. The Divine right ATheory is most appropriate for this situation. The people tried to rebell against their new ruler shortly after he took over, but he proved his authority and power using military force.

Hammurabi's Code

1772 BC

This was a code by the sixth Babylonian kind, Hammurabi. Since he was a king, the government was a monarchy which arised from Divine Right. Rich or poor, if a person broke the law, they were to be found guilty and punished.

Athens formed direct democracy

550 BC

This is one of the first known democracies. The power/ authority was in the hands of many (the people). The justice was spread equally. All citizens voted, however, women, children, and slaves were not citizens. The Evolutionary Theory bests suits this because the power started under rulers and evolved inti the hands of many.

Roman Empire formed

510 BC - 23 BC

It was very successful. There was a large seperation of classes. It had an autocratic government.

Roman Republic formed

509 BC - 146 BC

The Roman Monarchy was overthrown and replaced with a two-counsel, heirarchial government. The republic probably arose based on the Social Contract Theory.

Feudalism began in Europe

900 CE

Feudalism was a set of legal/ military customs for the structure of relationships.

Rise of absolute monarchies

1589 - 1715

The monarch has ultimate and unlimited authority! This was probably the force theory. The monarch had total control

English Civil War

1642 - 1651

Let to replacement of monarch with commonwealth. "The War tested the prerogative of the king and challenged the theory of divine right. "

Glorious Revolution in England


This follwed the English Civil War.

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

American Revolution