Class 9 Civics

Democracy in Contemporary World

Democracy: The classic definition of democracy says that it is the government for the people, of the people and by the people (Abraham Lincoln). In other words, democracy is a form of government in which people are allowed to choose their rulers. Following are the two important features of democracy:

  1. Only elected leaders (by people) rule the country.
  2. People have the freedom to express views, freedom to organize and freedom to protest.

The Changing Map of Democracy

Note: These maps are taken from NCERT Text Book

Democratic Countries on World Map

The world map given here shows democratic governments from 1900 to 1950. The countries which are shaded in red had already become democracies before 1900. The countries shaded in yellow became democracies between 1900 and 1970.

Democratic Countries on World Map

This world map shows democratic countries in 1975. Compared to the earlier map, the number of democratic countries has increased in this map. This was mainly because of freedom of many countries from colonialism. The end of colonialism resulted in the birth of many new nations during this period and many of them preferred for democratic rule.

Democratic Countries on World Map

This world map shows democratic countries in 2000. It can be said that most of the countries became democratic by this period. Collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and subsequent collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and many other parts of the world led to rise of democracies around the world. This map also shows that a major portion of Africa is yet to embrace democracy. Additionally, China and some central Asian countries are the regions where democracy has not taken roots.

Phases in the Expansion of Democracy