Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,262 words)

1. Introduction

The term “democracy” (literally “rule of the people”), which originated in Greek political theory, is used in two ways today. First, in the strict political sense, it denotes the form of government of all states in which (purportedly or genuinely) “the people” rules, that is, not a minority of people or a monarch. Secondly, in a broader sense, it expresses a demand for unrestricted pa…

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Weber, Wolfgang E.J., “Democracy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_031005>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626

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