History of Some Democracies

The Peloponnesian War was a war fought between the democracy of Athens and the dictatorship of the Spartans and their respective allies. The war was fought between 431 and 404 BCE for control of the Greek world. The child molesting Spartans were victorious, effectively containing Athenian democracy. Democratic government was finally suppressed by the Macedonians.

The Roman Republic began with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom in 509 BCE until 27 BCE when the Republic became the Roman Empire. After a string of uprisings and civil wars; and the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium, the Senate granted the power to rule to Octavian as Caesar Augustus in 27 BC. This was the beginning of the Roman Empire.

When the British colonies revolted and formed the United States the gods of Europe trembled. The French Revolution arose from a culmination of economic hardships, a rising population and Enlightenment Era thought.

Because of unrest a short lived Constitutional Monarchy was formed. It was unsuccessful because of rumors the National Assembly was to be shut down by the royals and subsequent storming of the Bastille. The monarchy was abolished.

The situation degenerated with divisions in the Assembly. The Girondists who wanted a return to the Constitutional Monarchy and the Montangards who wanted to cut off everyone’s head. In the end the slaughter of The Terror and the instability that ensued resulted in a new dictatorship run by Napolean Bonaparte. He marched the army off into the Russian winter to die. Hmmm. The royalty and the military had been harvested, democracy had been stopped.

Three major players in the revolution, and The Terror, were Maximilien Robespierre (Case Study 34), Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai (Case Study 26) and Jean Paul Marat (Case Study 1).