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Day 26 – Q 2.The history of democracy derives considerable substance from the American Revolution. Discuss.

2. The history of democracy derives considerable substance from the American Revolution. Discuss.

लोकतंत्र का इतिहास अमेरिकी क्रांति से काफी अवयव प्राप्त करता है। चर्चा करें।


American Revolution or the American war of Independence, was the pioneer in giving birth to modern “Democratic values” as well as fighting against the “Imperial culture” and overall spreading the confidence among the suppressed of fighting for their rights, focusing on the “Inviolability of an Individual” and give birth to the “Modern way of life”. It is reflected in the adoption of democratic principles throughout the world, India being the largest democracy as an example.


American Revolution was first among the many Revolutions to follow in the subsequent years like the Russian Revolution, The French Revolution etc, It was majorly shaped up by the following events-

American Revolution — Philadelphia convention — Democratic government adopted

        The Constitution of America served as a guiding light to the world. Many new features were either introduced for the first time or reignited for the countries of the world such as –

  • Sovereignty of people – 
  • Elected Government –  e.g France, India etc.
  • Rule of Law.
  • Fundamental Rights: e.g- many of the Fundamental rights in India
  • Equality before law   e.g – Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Independent Judiciary – e.g India
  • The Concept of “Free will” (it forms the essence of modern day democracy) 

Besides the Constitution, other features take substance from American Revolution such as— 

  • Fight against ‘Imperialism”-  strengthening of the belief that imperialism is antithetical, and Imperialism should be ended for democracy to strive.
  • The concept of “No taxation without representation” – it was propounded by the Moderate nationalists in India
  • Enactment of Written Constitution –  “Rex is Lex” substitutes “Lex is Rex”
  • Fundamental Rights derived from the bill of rights.
  • Justice, liberty and equality- propounded by Locke.
  • The role of Church was curtailed
  • People’s Sovereignty – It was established over the state sovereignty.
  • Constitution was made which lays down rules for the state.
  • The slogan of – “Give me death or give me liberty”, was a great step towards liberty and thus liberty breeds in democratic principles.
  • The concept of “Republican motherhood” emerged, the foremost duty of every mother was to instill republican and democratic principles into the child.
  • By incorporating proper ‘Checks and Balances”, the “constitutionalism” democratic principles were sought to be protected.

Even though American Revolution is the pioneer of “Democratic Way of Life” in the modern World and many countries like France, Russia and even India have taken queue from its principles in modern times. Eg- Many Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution. Yet, some negatives of the democratic principles as propounded by the American Revolution, makes us doubt whether things were democratic in true sense, such as-

  • Franchise was very limited- on base of property, women were not allowed to vote
  • Slavery continued till its abolition in 1861.
  • Rise of slavery and racial discrimination goes against equality
  • USA followed the concept of “Men of property” – Capitalism created poor working conditions for the middle class.
  • America expanded to the west and displaced ethnic communities of Red Indians


Hence, although American Revolution had certain negatives, they could be only because of the democratic principles were in their nascent stage and the value structure was not completely evolved. Even then, The American War of Independence formed a great foundation for countries throughout the world in years to come, especially India.

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