|Author||A. J Grant|
|Publisher||Charles Scribner's Sons|
|Publication Date||October 16, 2017|
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1893 Excerpt: ... Athens was in the Greek world the main supporter of democratic forms of government. All states who fell beneath her sway and influence almost necessarily adopted democratic constitutions just as those that were joined in any way to Sparta were oligarchical in character. And from the standpoint of universal history the logical development of the democratic idea in Athens is of immense interest and had considerable influence on future ages. We have adopted the word democracyjrom the Greeks, and apply it to institutions and conditions of society which are to be found in France, England, and America, and various other parts of the world. The modern use of the word is a vague one. On the one hand, it is used to denote a certain set of opinions or emotions which look to the well-being of the whole community rather than of a privileged few, and in this sense the word is sometimes identical in meaning with philanthropy. On the other hand, it is used for a form of government that rests in the final analysis on the will of the people, or one in which the will of the people plays a very considerable part. It is important to notice that neither of these usages would have corresponded to the Greek use of the word Democracy meant a certain form of government of a very distinct kind. A Greek would not have considered our institutions democratic. If an Athenian of the age of Pericles had been made acquainted with the English constitution or the constitution of France or America, he would have been surprised to hear them called democracies. The English constitution would probably have seemed to him an oligarchy of a few hundred men (the members of Parliament), or perhaps, upon further examination, he would have said that the Cabinet was exercising a tyranny: a "democracy" c...