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The Glorious Revolution And Its Importance As A Precedent For The Subsequent Revolutions Of The 17th And 18th Centuries And The Shaping Of Democracy

926 words - 4 pages

The revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries played an important role in the development of democracy, however the Glorius Revolution of 1688 was the integral event that has shaped modern-day mass democracy.The Glorious, American and French Revolutions of 1688, 1776 and 1789 respectively, all played an essential role in the development of democracy. These events and the interdependent thinkers and philosophes, inspired the bourgeoisie to pursue and advocate a liberal political system that would initially provide for their own interests, but eventually the challenge to the autonomy of the aristocracy. This created a relentless pursuit by the masses for a liberal mass democracy and ...view middle of the document...

These revolutions were based upon the ideals of the Glorious Revolution, but could not be achieved without bloodshed; the powers of the autocracy were too great or reluctant to relinquish the largest and strongest bastion of English colonialism in the 'new world'. The French Revolution's effect was short-lived as a result of the rise of Napoleon's empire and the Reign of Terror, putting an end to individual rights and liberal democracy. The American and French Revolutions assisted in establishing the rights of the individual, yet they were still based upon English precedent. The Declaration of Independence and Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, the common element that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed" is constructed upon the English clause, " the election of members of parliament ought to be free." Although not exact, the parliamentary foundation was laid for the progress toward today's liberal democracy.The ideologies of liberalism of the bourgeoisie in the Age of Reason/Enlightenment laid the grounds for equity and freedom from unjust imposition. This allowed for the rise of democracy through providing the inspiration for the Glorious Revolution. The Age of Reason brought the demise of the Feudal System and the burden of vassalage. This was directed under the leadership of numerous 'thinkers' that took to challenging the status quo of the aristocracy and the divine rights and knowledge of the church. New thought free from religious restrictions, allowed for traditions and social management issues to be re-assessed. The bourgeoisie created a movement toward democracy, however they were interested in protecting their own ideals of economic and political freedom or 'liberalism'. They pursued a full...

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