Colonial Democracy?

Topics: Democracy, Government, Direct democracy Pages: 3 (900 words) Published: October 20, 2001
Did democracy exist in the colonies during the eighteenth century before the American Revolution? Democracy is rule by the people, simply put. This on a large scale is nearly impossible. How could all the people of America, then or now, or even of a decent size town today all come together to vote on issues. We today have a representative Democracy, which in itself is a logistical compromise on a true democracy. In analyzing the government they had in the colonies and comparing it to the "Democracy" that we have today there are enough similarities that I would have to call the form of colonial government Democratic.

In the colonies, not everyone was allowed to vote this was certainly not democratic, but the criteria to be able to vote weren't very extensive. The only real requirement was the owning of land. This today we might see as a hard thing to obtain. In those days land was very cheap. To make it even easier to obtain, laborers were paid well. This gave immigrants the ability to earn enough money to buy land in a short time, and farm it on their own. This also is the reason labor was in high demand, so many of the labors bought their own land and moved off to it. Labor was in short supply for this reason, and thus laborers were paid well. More than ninety percent of the people were farmers, most of who owned their own land. All these people would be able to vote.

If you were to compare the percentage of those who had the right to vote in the colonies with the percentage of those who do actually vote today, you would see an interesting correlation. Today about a third of those who can vote do vote, or at most say forty percent. In the colonial times eighty percent of the population had the right to vote. I'd have to think it would be reasonable to think that in those days a greater percentage of the population voted than today. So in that mathematical respect, they were almost more democratic than we are today.

There was not a...
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