Through most of history, econ density and development went with less political freedom: For most of the past 5,000 years, … kingdoms and empires were ‘exceptional islands of political hierarchy, surrounded by much larger territories whose inhabitants … systematically avoided fixed, overarching systems of authority. (
The monarch serves for life, which is what Hamilton wanted for the US president (and what we have for the Supreme Court). That's a less democratic setup, of the sort Garett Jones recommends in "10% Less Democracy". The 6 year terms of the senate and their initial indirect election by state governments was intended to be less democratic than the lower house, but it's still greater compared to the House of Lords (which mattered more at the time the US achieved independence).
Yeah - that's what I said. But the imporant thing was it depended on monarch motivation and was under control of parliament. When the monarch was not very persuasive or liked they exercised little power and the prime minister more power. It was similar in degree of democracy to appointment of the US president by electoral college.
Even after the restoration there was a gradual shift in the powers of the monarch.
And some monarchs in England were given quite a lot of say, and even in some cases support to act in a presidential way eg. William of Orange. But after the restoration, it was always parliament that decided the role of the monarch.
Yes the Scandinavian countries came along more peacefully and later. Holland lead the way.
If the monarch is controlled by parliament it is not very different from a president appointed by electoral college in terms of the degree of democracy.
Also, "northwester Europe, ere" >>> "northwesterN Europe, Were" in the quotation.
Does it depends on exactly what you think constitutes "political freedoms"?
The UK was pretty dominant prior to 1918, when they expanded the franchise to non-taxpayers. (I suspect the rot started then.)
Competition between states of course necessitates economic freedoms (otherwise your economy stagnates and you lose militarily to those with better economics). Political freedoms can be argued to support economic freedoms (deterring excessive corruption) or to contribute to their erosion (envy, masses being easily deceived...).
Also...Singapore? Do you consider it free? (I do. Of course Harry Lee was an outlier in many ways.)
I wonder what the results would be if you took that poll in China today...and what difference it would make if you sorted it into "respondants who believed they were anonymous" v.s. "respondants who thought they were about to go work in the mines".
South Korea has had American troops on it's soil for (near as I can tell) it's whole life, and at least at the beginning, American financial and military aid.
A better example might be Taiwan. But again a (barely) US client of sorts.
The Soviet Union was only able to take the offensive and stay there due to American military aid. It was American and British bombers that significantly reduced Germany's ability to produce war material.
The Soviet Union would have never been able to produce enough of the stuff needed to fight a modern war with the American industrial machine behind them. They could fought Germany to a standstill during the winter and spring months because Russian winters are brutal, but Stalin's treatment of Soviet troops was even worse than Hitler's treatment of German troops in that theater.
South Korea evolved from an authoritarian state to a democracy in a timeline where the first world treated democracy as normative. You might be right, but your comment is not much of a response to Robin's hypothetical.
It was not that discrete. The Scandinavian countries didn't have to decapitate their monarchs either.
The UK today has a monarch who is not elected, as do the Scandanavian countries, Australia, Canada, and others who are widely seen as highly democratic countries.
Once the English parliament cut the head off one of their monarchs in the 1600s, no English speaking monarch has been particularly powerful.
In the late 18th century UK still had a monarch who was not elected. The monarch was not as strong vs Parliament as they had once been, but not yet a mere figurehead. Electing the executive was thus more democratic.
The founding of the US did not involve an increase in democracy. The states and the UK were already as democratic as the US at ots founding. The foundation of the US just incorporated what was already common governance practice in the English speaking world at the time.
Subsequently thete were reforms everywhere. The US became the leader for a time in democracy, but it was shortly overtaken by Australia.
Demcracy's development has not depended on the US existing.
Russia largely beat Germany in WW2 not the US. The US helped bring it to a close relatively quickly. And most impoortantly post war stopped Russia from getting more control over Europe. However, a nearly defeated Germany facing near certain post war total control by Russia would likely tried hardet to get rid of Hitler, liberated France and other occupied countries and turned to these countries and the UK for help against Russia.
Also at some point the UK or German nuclear programs would have born fruit.
Counterfactuals are always difficult. I don't think they help much.
The only places where you can possibly get the green line to be much bigger than the red are dictatorships.
WEIRD Psychology theory would suggest that these systems were well under their way to maturation in Europe when the United States was founded. The UK was already a very free society by the 18th century.
If a) WEIRD psychology makes the most powerful polities that are selected for and b) WEIRD psychology causes people to prefer freer societies, then it follows c) freer societies will result due to selection pressure in favor of WEIRD.