Why Do Old Political Systems Still Exist?
Political systems are complex and ever-changing. Many systems have existed for hundreds (if not thousands of years). Yet, interestingly, some of these systems are still popular today, sometimes even more than they were when they were invented.
Today, we’ll be looking at why certain political systems, like the monarchy and democracy, still exist today. Read on for more information.
Why Does the Monarchy Still Exist?
In some places, such as the United Kingdom, the monarchy is the oldest type of government.
In a monarchy, the king or queen assumes the role of Head of State. Some monarchies (like the British Monarchy) operate as a constitutional monarchy. Essentially, this means the queen is still the Head of State, but the power to pass legislation lies with the elected government officials.
As such, the king or queen no longer has a political role, but they still play an integral role in running the country.
A Head of State is responsible for representational and constitutional duties that have been in place for over a thousand years. As well as stately duties, the monarch also serves as “Head of Nation.” The monarch acts as an emblem and a focus for national pride and identity; the monarch also offers a sense of continuity and stability in the eyes of the people; encourages voluntary service and duty; and recognizes excellence, charity, and success through knighthoods and special commendations.
The king or queen is supported in all of these duties by family members.
Why Does Democracy Still Exist?
Interestingly, democracy not only still exists, but it has become more prevalent as time goes on. Democracy has played an important role in shaping civilization, transforming power structures like monarchy, conquest, and empire into popular rule, peace, self-determination, and co-existence.
Democracy came to fruition in ancient Greece. However, there were many enslaved people in that society and very few citizens able to participate in votes. As such, democracy vanished until the 18th century, when it resurfaced as representative democracy. Societies have moved towards greater democracy ever since. Scholars can break down our journey towards democracy in three waves.
The first wave started in the late 18 century until 1918 with the American and French revolutions and the rise of democracy in Britain. Bolivarian revolutions brought democracies to South America, and the German, Austro-Hungary, and Ottoman empires eventually turned into democratic republics.
The second wave happed between 1945 and 1960 when Germany, Italy, and Japan reorganized into democracies following the Second World War. In addition, many countries (such as India) were decolonized, creating independent and democratic nations.
The final wave (1975-1991) saw the demise of dictatorships in Brazil, Portugal, and Spain. In addition, Taiwan and South Korea transitioned to democratic governance, and the USSR collapsed, creating numerous democratic and free European states.
In short, democracy still exists because it was seen as a popular alternative to pre-exisiting political systems.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why political systems still exist, though things like the monarchy have adapted over time to survive in a constantly-changing world.