Liberal Democracy

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  • A form of government in which the decision-making powers of elected representatives is subject to the rule of law and a constitution that protects the rights and freedoms of the constituency. Liberal democracy is the dominant form of modern democracies, including the United States.

    The concept of a liberal democracy originated in the Age of Enlightenment in Europe in the 18th century. At that time, many governments were led by monarchies. Several political philosophers, however, likened the monarchy to a tyranny in which rule was often arbitrary and despotic. They offered a different ideal of a government whereby individuals' rights were paramount and superseded the impositions of government. This ideal, known as liberalism, inspired the American and French Revolutions in the late 18th century.

    A liberal democracy ...

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