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What is democracy?

  • "rule by the people"
  • The citizens vote on laws, policies, and other important actions
  • Each citizen has the opportunity to be involved and speak their opinion

The Color Line is Broken.  Political Cartoon by Thomas Nast, 1977
The Color Line is Broken. Political Cartoon by Thomas Nast, 1977

What are different forms of democracy?

1970 postage stamp commemorating the 19th Amendment
1970 postage stamp commemorating the 19th Amendment

According to political theorists, there are many different types of democracy.

See also American Government 1.4


Here are a selection:
  • Representative Democracy
    • Also called an indirect democracy
    • The citizens elect representatives who make up the legislature
    • These representatives vote and enact laws on behalf of the citizens
  • Direct Democracy
  • Minimalist Democracy
    • Citizens elect political teams and give them the right to rule
    • People shouldn't vote because they are uninformed and do not have a strong understanding of government
  • Deliberative Democracy
    • Democracy should be based in discussion
    • Both citizens and politicians have the opportunity to speak, listen, and decide on matters
  • Radical Democracy
    • Tensions and oppressive nature exist in society
    • It is the duty of the government to change this

United States Postage Stamp, 1977
United States Postage Stamp, 1977

lessonplan.jpgClick here for the lesson plan "Appreciating Democracy"

Sources:
1. Boundless. "Theories of Democracy" https://www.boundless.com/sociology/understanding-government/democracy/theories-of-democracy/