|The History of Democracy|
The earliest forms of democracy may have originated in the bands and tribes of prehistoric times. These groups of people, related by blood and marriage, often assigned the eldest member of a group to be its leader. As groups became larger, a method of selecting a ruler from among the elders of various family lines had to be developed. This process began to take on more of a religious nature and could become either more or less democratic. Larger societies tended to be less democratic for the simple reason that technology for communication was extremely limited. For the largest societies, democracy was perhaps less efficient than a strong central ruler in managing the complex economic and military spheres associated with civilization. Because it is based on writing, the historical record is likely to be biased towards less democratic societies because of the advantages associated with a strong central government. Nevertheless, earlier forms of government may have survived for some time. The Iroquois Confederacy is a modern example of tribal democracies that likely existed beyond the written record.
The Sumerian city states are believed to have had some form of Democratic setup initially.  They became monarchies over time. This is probably the first use of Democracy by a civilized, urban society, rather than by a nomadic tribal entity.
One of the earliest instances of democracy in a civilization was found in republics in ancient India, which were established sometime before the 6th century BC, and prior to the birth of Buddha. These republics were known as Maha Janapadas, and among these states, Vaishali (in what is now Bihar, India) was the world's first republic. Later during the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, the Greeks wrote about the Sabarcae and Sambastai states in what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan, whose "form of government was democratic and not regal" according to Greek scholars at the time. 
Athens is among the first recorded and one of the most important democracies in ancient times; the word "democracy" (Greek: δημοκρατία - "rule by the people") was invented by Athenians in order to define their system of government, around 508 BC. In the next generation, Ephialtes had a law passed severely limiting the powers of the Council of the Areopagus, which deprived the Athenian nobility of their special powers.
democracy was based on selection of officials by lot, and decisions in other cases by majority rule. The assembly of all male citizens in Athens voted on decisions directly (compare direct democracy). Elected officials did not determine decisions — giving decision-making power to elected officials was considered by the ancient Athenians to take away the power of the people, effectively making the state an oligarchy. Democracy had (and for some people still has) the meaning of equality in decisions and of elections in decisions, not the election of persons charged to decide (see representative democracy). Few checks on or limits to the power of the assembly existed, with the notable exception of the graphe paranomon (also voted on by the assembly), which made it illegal to pass a law that was contrary to another.
Athens School - Vatican
of the reasons why this system was feasible was because of the relatively small population of Athens, by modern standards — only 300,000 people. Additionally, there were severe restrictions that dictated who had the right to participate as a citizen, which excluded over half of the total population. Citizenship rights were limited strictly to male, adult, non-slave Athenians of citizen descent. Therefore, women, children, slaves, foreigners and resident aliens — groups that together made up a majority of the city's population — had no right to participate in the assembly. On the other hand, modern democracy has its own limitations in comparison to the ancient model, as for most citizens participation is limited to voting, voting itself is usually limited to once every several years, voters merely get to choose their representatives in the legislative or executive branches (with the exception of occasional referenda), and it is those representatives, not the voters themselves, who have the power to decide in matters of state.
Pay for political service was a democratic principle, though which forms of service were covered changed over time. In contrast to the professional wages paid to politicians and public servants under modern democracies, this pay was low, about as much as a man could earn doing unskilled manual labour. That is to say, it was aligned with the earning power of the very poorest citizens and intended only to cover what they might otherwise have earned during the days or parts of days they gave over to political service.
During the golden age of classical Athens, in the 5th century BC, when it was hegemon of the Greek city-states, the Athenians encouraged democracy abroad. This led to the adoption of democratic or quasi-democratic forms of government in several of Athens' allies and dependent states. However, in the 5th century BC, the Peloponnesian War saw the Greek world divided between an alliance led by Athens and a rival coalition led by Sparta. The Spartans won and democracy was abolished in all the Greek city-states which had adopted it. The Athenians themselves restored their democracy in less than a year, but were no longer in a position to promote it abroad.
Hundreds of other Greek cities were at one time or other democratic, but information on how their systems worked is scanty. Many will have followed the Athenian lead; Chios appears to have had democratic institutions by 575 BC, earlier than their functioning existence at Athens. Aristotle in the discussions in his Politics of the different kinds of democracies speaks of systems where the people vote only on the election of officeholders, but have no direct say themselves either on legislation or executive decisions. This would seem to be a form of representative democracy. (Aristotle Politics 1318b21-2; 1274a15-18; 1281b32-4)
Birth of the Republic
The traditional founding of Rome was in 753 BC. The Etruscans, early Italian settlers comprised of city-states throughout central Italy ruled Rome for over a century; the traditional dates are 616 BC for the accession of the first Etruscan King, Tarquinius Priscus, and 510 BC for the expulsion of the last king, Tarquinius Superbus. The king was expelled by a group of aristocrats led by Lucius Junius Brutus. The Tarquins were expelled from Rome, and a constitution devised, whereby power rested in the hands of the Roman senate (the assembly of leading citizens), who delegated executive power in a pair of consuls who were elected from among their number to serve for one year.
The founding of the Republic did not mark the end for Roman troubles, since the new constitution was not flawless and there remained powerful external enemies. Internally, one serious threat was internecine feuding of the leading families. Another was the struggle between the leading families(patricians) as a whole and the rest of the population, especially the plebeians. After years of conflicts the plebs forced the senate to pass a written series of laws(the Twelve Tables) which recognized certain rights and gave the plebs their own representatives, the tribunes. By the 4th Century BC, the plebs were given the right to stand for consulship and other major offices of the state.
Rome became the ruler of a great Mediterranean empire. The new provinces brought wealth to Italy, and fortunes were made through mineral concessions and enormous slave run estates. Slaves were imported to Italy and wealthy landowners soon began to buy up and displace the original peasant farmers. By the late 2nd Century this led to renewed conflict between the rich and poor and demands from the latter for reform of constitution. The background of social unease and the inability of the traditional republican constitutions to adapt to the needs of the growing empire led to the rise of a series of over-mighty generals, championing the cause of either the rich or the poor, in the last century BC.
Louvre Sabins vs Romans
Fall of the Republic
The beginning of the end of the Republic came when the brothers Gracchus challenged the traditional constitutional order in the 130s and 120s BC. Though members of the aristocracy themselves, they sought to parcel out public land to the dispossessed Italian peasant farmers. Other measures followed, but many senators feared the Gracchi's policy and both brothers met violent deaths. The next champion of the people was the great general Gaius Marius, He departed from established practice by recruiting his soldiers not only from landed citizens but from landless citizens, including the growing urban proletariat. These were people when the wars were over looked to their commander for a more permanent reward in the shape of land of their own. Thus the situation developed where commanders and their armies banded together in pursuit of political objectives, the commanders seeking power and the soldiers rewards.
The Decadent Romans, Thomas Couture (1847)
The temporary ascendancy achieved by Marius was eclipsed by that ofSulla in the 80s BC. Sulla marched on Rome after his command of the Roman invasion force that was to invade Pontus was transferred to Sulla's rival Marius. Leaving Rome damaged and terrorized, Sulla retook command of the Eastern army and after placing loyal puppets to the consul he marched for the conquest of Pontus. When Sulla returned to Rome, there was opposition to his rule by those loyal to Marius and his followers. Sulla, with the aid of a young Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) and Marcus Licinius Crassus, quelled the political opposition and had himself made dictator of Rome. Sulla was a staunch proponent of aristocratic privilege, and his short-lived monarchy saw the repeal of pro-popular legislation and condemnation, usually without trial, of thousands of his enemies to violent deaths and exile.
After Sulla's death, democracy was more or less restored under Pompey the Great. Despite his popularity he was faced with two astute political opponents: the immensely wealthy Crassus and Julius Caesar. Rather than coming to blows, the three men reached a political accommodation now known as the First Triumvirate. Caesar was awarded governor of two Gallic provinces (what is now modern day France). He embarked on a campaign of conquest, the Gallic War, which resulted in a huge accession of new territory and vast wealth not to mention an extremely battle hardened army after 8 years of fighting the Gauls. In 50 BC Caesar was recalled to Rome to disband his legions and was put on trial for his illegal war crimes. Caesar, not able to accept this insult after his fantastic conquest, crossed the Rubicon with his loyal Roman legions in 49 BC. Caesar was considered an enemy and traitor of Rome, and he was now matched against the Senate, led by Pompey the Great. This led to a violent Civil War between Caesar and the Republic. The senators and Pompey were no match for Caesar and his veteran legions and this culminated in the Battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar, although outnumbered, destroyed Pompey's legions. Pompey, who had fled to Egypt, was murdered and beheaded.
Finally, Caesar took supreme power and was appointed Dictator for life over the Roman Republic. Caesar's career was cut short by his assassination at Rome in 44 BC by Marcus Junius Brutus, the descendant of the Brutus who expelled the Etruscan King four and half centuries before. In 27 BC , Caesar's adoptive son, was granted the title Augustus by the Senate, making him the first official emperor of Rome. The Roman Republic of the senate and the people came to an end and thus began the age of the Emperors. The Roman Empire expanded and lasted until its fall in 476 AD.
Local popular institutions
Most of the procedures used by modern democracies are very old. Almost all cultures have at some time had their new leaders approved, or at least accepted, by the people; and have changed the laws only after consultation with the assembly of the people or their leaders. Such institutions existed since before the Iliad or the Odyssey, and modern democracies are often derived or inspired by them, or what remained of them. Nevertheless, the direct result of these institutions was not always a democracy. It was often a narrow oligarchy, as in Venice, or even an absolute monarchy, as in Florence.
These early institutions include:
Rise of democracy in modern national governments
Pre-Eighteenth century milestones
Renaissance humanism was a cultural movement in Europe beginning in central Italy (particularly Florence) in the last decades of the 14th century. It revived and refined the study of language (First Latin, and then the Greek language by mid-century), science, philosophy, art and poetry of classical antiquity. The "revival" was based on interpretations of Roman and Greek texts. Their emphasis on art and the senses marked a great change from the medieval values of humility, introspection, and passivity.
The humanist philosophers looked for secular principles on which society could be organized, as opposed to the concentration of political power in the hands of the Church. Prior to the Renaissance, religion had been the dominant force in politics for a thousand years.
Humanists looked at ancient Greece and found the concept of democracy. In some cases they began to implement it (to a limited extent) in practice:
Eighteenth and nineteenth century milestones
The secret ballot
The notion of a secret ballot, where one is entitled to the privacy of their votes, is taken for granted by most today by virtue of the fact that it is simply considered the norm. However, this practice was highly controversial in the 19th century; it was widely argued that no man would want to keep his vote secret unless he was ashamed of it.[ ]
The two earliest systems used were the Victorian method and the South Australian method. Both were introduced in 1856 to voters in Victoria and South Australia. The Victorian method involved voters crossing out all the candidates whom he did not approve of. The South Australian method, which is more similar to what most democracies use today, had voters put a mark in the preferred candidate's corresponding box. The Victorian voting system also was not completely secret, as it was traceable by a special number.
20th century waves of democracy
The end of the First World War was a temporary victory for democracy in Europe, as it was preserved in France and temporarily extended to Germany. Likewise, the Russian Revolution of 1917 inaugurated a brief period of soviet democracy. However, by the early 1930s these trends had been reversed: The Soviet Union became a dictatorship under Stalin, and, in Europe, the Great Depression caused a great deal of social and political turmoil which eventually ended with the rise of fascism. This, in turn, led to World War II.
World War II was ultimately a victory for democracy in Western Europe, where representative governments were established that reflected the general will of their citizens. However, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe became undemocratic Soviet satellite states. In Southern Europe, a number of right-wing authoritarian dictatorships (most notably in Spain and Portugal) continued to exist.
Japan had moved towards democracy during the Taishō period during the 1920s, but it was under effective military rule in the years before and during World War II. The country adopted a new constitution during the postwar Allied occupation, with initial elections in 1946.
India became a democratic republic in 1950 on achieving independence from Great Britain. A process of decolonization created much political upheaval in Africa, with some countries experiencing often rapid changes to and from democratic and other forms of government. In Southeast Asia, political divisions in both Korea and Vietnam would escalate into wars with heavy involvement from the West, China and the Soviet Union.
New waves of democracy swept across Europe in the 1970s and late 1980s, when representative governments were instituted in the nations of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe respectively.
Much of Latin America and Southeast Asia, Taiwan and South Korea and some Arab and African states—notably Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority—moved towards greater liberal democracy in the 1990s and 2000s.
An analysis by Freedom House argues that there was not a single liberal democracy with universal suffrage in the world in 1900, but that in 2000 120 of the world's 192 nations, or 62% were such democracies. They count 25 nations, or 19% of the world's nations with "restricted democratic practices" in 1900 and 16, or 8% of the world's nations today. They counted 19 constitutional monarchies in 1900, forming 14% of the world's nations, where a constitution limited the powers of the monarch, and with some power devolved to elected legislatures, and none in the present. Other nations had, and have, various forms of non-democratic rule.  While the specifics may be open to debate (for example, New Zealand actually enacted universal suffrage in 1893, but is discounted due to a lack of complete sovereignty and certain restrictions on the Māori vote), the numbers are indicitive of the expansion of democracy during the twentieth century.