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The Decline and Rise of DemocracyA Global History from Antiquity to Today$
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David Stasavage

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691177465

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691177465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Why England Was Different

Why England Was Different

(p.197) 9 Why England Was Different
The Decline and Rise of Democracy

David Stasavage

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates how the English invented a new kind of parliament and analyzes how its rulers and people developed a style of governance that would evolve into modern democracy. It draws a contrast between England and the Dutch Republic. While the Dutch Republic had a claim to being the world's “first modern economy,” the Dutch did not invent modern parliamentarianism. The chapter highlights the Dutch Republic's political institutions that more closely resembled early democracy and held back economic innovation and development. It draws attention to the “witan,” which was as a representative body through which England's people, via their ruling elite, placed constraints on monarchs.

Keywords:   parliament, modern democracy, modern economy, modern parliamentarianism, political institutions, early democracy, monarchs

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