Talk:History of democracy

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Reference to Freedom House report[edit]

This page refers to a Freedom House report "Democracy's Century", footnote #84. Just so folks know, that report no longer exists at the Freedom House website and hasn't for some time. The discussion based on that report should be removed.

gsociology (talk) 04:15, 13 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've archived the page, which sat at 113K. Last discussion was from June, 2010 so that seems safe. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questionable Sources[edit]

I don't have time at the moment to read through every source, but I'd note that some of the cited sources are absolutely not scholarly works or at all credible. For example, one of the supporting citations for the factual assertion that the Founding Fathers wanted a "Patrician" government comes from a self published opinion piece on a company website called "Dynanmic Doingness." This company describes itself this way:


Our clients have not only benefited from the translation of their print materials, but also from the localization of their online and video tutorials, apps, and websites. Whether your organization generates or captures content in HTML, XML, JavaScript, portable objects, or other programming languages, we are here to help. We understand software localization. Our technology platforms allow us to work directly with your native files without time-consuming conversions, while maintaining the code intact. This results in a more streamlined and efficient process for all parties involved. Your localized content will be up and running in no time

This is an embarassingly low quality source and should be removed. I suspect it is not the only one. It was citation #104: "Democracy and the Founding Fathers". Dynamic Doingness. Retrieved 17 January 2018. I am going to delete it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 3 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Italian municipalities[edit]

References to the Italian municipalities are very imprecise. Venice only in 1297 became oligarchy "serrata del Maggior Consiglio” Before oligarchy was substantially but not formally. Formally was fully democratic see “Arengo” of course for male citizens and census(*). The nobility formally did not exist as in all Italian municipalities. The italian cities became strong after the escape of “Land serfs” and the wars with agricultural “Imperial nobility” and defeat of them. The urbanization of the “Land serfs” that hate of the “Imperial nobility” was an important factor of the born of “Comuni”. The wars of rich lobbies into the cities caused the crisis of democracy and the gradual emergence of the lordships. Example in Florence during common (Comune) period a powerful party was that of the butchers. In Venice the venetian nobility born only after 1297. The same phenomenon, crisis of democracy and born of renaissance Lordships, was in all municipalities in north and centre italy, during the period 1250-1400. But before there was fully male and census(*) democracy in the cities without blood nobility with fully democratic “Statuti” no less than XIX century Constitutions.

(*)was Census because the offices were without pay. It didn’t exist a law on census.

Andriolo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 11 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Monarchy in Florence are you crazy.....??? Florence in late medieval period was one of the more conflictual city in the world history. Medici family that wasn't noble family but burgess family that was emerged only during XIV-XV century with a lobbies system. But before ??? You have never read "Divina Commedia" of Dante Alighieri ? You don't never read the "Statuti" ? Incredible, If this thing is written, I think that anglosaxon world don't know nothing about history of Italy and Continental occidental European history. They think to Verona only in Shakespeare terms and when the turists arrive in Italy don't understant the means of the names "Palazzo della Ragione", "Palazzo del Comune". "Piazza dell'Arengo". But they think only a romantic idea of the Lordships. Perhaps in USA there are too much courses of "Universal history" ? They know everything and nothing at the same time.

Andriolo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:03, 11 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Renaissance had put on the tombstone of municipalities democracy. Other thing the "Literacy understand" that is the mother of democracy was very high 80% (males) in medieval Venice or Florence into the cities. But every woman of good family were able to write and read. Lot of testaments in the Archives of italian cities are written from burgess womans. In all Italy in 1861 "literacy understand" (males and womens) was less than 15 %. Andriolo PS: For Italy I think North and Centre in south there was a kingdom.

I have change this thing: oligarchy and monarchy + "in renaissance period, but in the medieval period they were guild democracies". To improve a little bit.


P.S: Attention please: Guild democracy don't existed in the older period, during the formation of "Comuni", but in middle and late medieval period. Before the population of "Comuni" with immigration of Land Serfs was a "boiling magma". And in some more little "Comuni" never existed the system of "Corporazioni di arte e mestieri". I have change Italian cities chap. My english isn't the better if someone can write my "senteces" better I will be happy.

Some "Comuni" before guild democracy developed a full modern democracy, an example we have in San Marino republic that is a "fossil" of medieval municipalities without guild system but a family heads system, in lot of part this democracy was more advanced of XIX century big democracies for individual rights.


Israel first full democracy in Middle East?[edit]

With Lebanon having a recognized sovereignty and constitution (republican democracy) in 1943, why is Israel stated as the first full democracy in the Middle East? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 4 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Framers....did not plan on the development of a democracy for the new republic"[edit]

"The framers, including James Madison of the Constitution did not plan on the development of a democracy for the new republic." There seems to be a semantics game being played here. While this is true when using a strict definition of "democracy", "democracy" is used in this article as: "According to one definition, democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power. In modern representative democracy, this formal equality is embodied primarily in the right to vote." Using this definition the Founders explicitly did "plan on the development of a democracy" ("All men are created equal", at least if we ignore problems of slavery and the lack of women's suffrage which, to be fair, also existed in the other contemporary examples of democracy listed here). The citation speaks of not intending an absolute democracy, while the rest of the article uses democracy in the modern style (essentially "representative democracy"). To me this makes the sentence counterproductive. Anyone feel differently? PantsB (talk) 16:49, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you that democracy is a very messy thing. For example I side (yeap I am biased but I am trying to be neutral nevertheless) with the scholars that reject that representative democracy is a democratic form of government. Instead they would view representative democracy as elective oligarchy (see Pericles, Rousseau, and moderns like J. Ober). For them democracy exists only when almost noone has more access to power than others. However, on the other side you have others that tout that real (or direct if you will) democracy is not only non-practical but actually very dangerous (see Plato and Maddison). And they advocate that equality and freedom (the characteristics of a democracy defined by Aristotle and others) can only be achieved by limiting the participation of the many to having any form of power. Both attempt to describe the same thing but with entirely different ways/agendas. So it will not be easy to write in a non-confusing way.A.Cython (talk) 20:25, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The history of the Ruben's[edit]

Why is Sparta mentioned here at all? It needs to be deleted. Unless it says democracy is a denigration from a "politiea" which the Spartans had. It is ridiculous to have Sparta in this article.WHEELER (talk) 18:51, 24 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The same goes for the Mesopotamia and India sections. And in fact a closer examination of the federalist papers and the british political thought of 17th & 18th centuries you will find that modern democracies are based on Rome and Sparta (with Sparta being more democratic than Rome) rather than Athens. If you want to be strict about then everything must be removed except Athens and probably Switzerland. But that will lose the point of the article. Mesopotamia, India, and Sparta are examples of societies that made some advancements towards to democracy but they never become full democracies. The society to that was Athens... and the history goes on. I think the sections before Athens are necessary to cover the question what was happening before Athens.A.Cython (talk) 14:49, 29 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
British political history and the Federalist papers are not the sole foundation of modern democracies, in fact far from it. But I agree with you in all other respects, it is important to cover the early development and experiments of this form of government in all its forms. --Saddhiyama (talk) 14:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indigenous peoples of the Americas?[edit]

I am curious: how does a theory advanced by a single person, that never gained acceptance by other historians (AFAIK), merit a section? Neutrality doesn't require Wikipedia becoming a kitchen sink of unsubstantiated claims. ToolmakerSteve (talk) 10:26, 6 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Iroquois thesis is very well known. I heard it was dodgy, but didn't know just how dodgy. So it certainly makes sense to mention it. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:48, 15 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article states that the influence of Iroquois Law on the U.S. Constitution is the theory of just one person. That doesn't mean the Iroquois system itself is in any way dodgy or doubtful. Possibly it deserves more discussion. (talk) 18:47, 29 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Women's suffrage?[edit]

While there is some mention of "universal suffrage", it surprises me that there is no direct mention of suffrage for women, during the 20th century waves of democracy. E.g. In U.S. 1920 19th Amendment. There isn't even a link to women's suffrage article. ToolmakerSteve (talk) 10:47, 6 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Virginia's Declaration of Rights[edit]

The article asserts that Virginia's Declaration of Rights was "influenced by the English Bill of Rights." That is of course true, to a limited extent, but by citing only the English Bill of Rights as an influence, the article seems to attribute primary, even unique, importance to the English document as a source for the Virginian, more or less comparable to the Virginian Declaration's role as the chief model for the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States of America. I would venture to guess that John Locke and Montesquieu, for example, were much greater influences, directly or indirectly, upon the thinking of George Masion as he set about to compose the Virginian Declaration; and I see no reason for the article to single out the English Bill of Rights for particular mention.

Section Seven of the Virginian Declaration,

That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and ought not to be exercised.

strongly echoes the first two "ancient rights and liberties" asserted in the English Bill:

That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal . . . .

And Virginia's Section Nine,

That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

is borrowed word for word from the English document. The two documents, however, are for the most part quite different in their subject matter, their underlying assumptions and philosophies of government and society, the occasions for which they were created, the ends they were designed to accomplish, and, I speculate with some confidence, the uses to which they have since been put by the nations by which they were respectively adopted.

Accordingly, unless within a reasonable period of time somebody offers some persuasive counter-arguments, or undertakes to give us a more comprehensive and balanced account of the influences on Virginia's Declaration, I propose to delete the reference to the English Bill of Rights.

Jdcrutch (talk) 20:29, 5 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This comparison of the contents (and contrast of purpose) of the English Bill and Virginia's Declaration is interesting in and of itself; perhaps this could be captured in an Article in an appropriate way, without being so prominent as to suggest more influence than is credible? The Article for the Virginia's Declaration has a section on Drafting and adoption which discusses the English Bill as the basis for the inital draft, but not the connection in wording of Section Seven and Section Nine. While limited in scope and different in overall purpose, this does seem to be relevant and interesting to the reader. --Whizz40 (talk) 22:23, 30 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whizz40 raises interesting points but to my mind doesn't justify citing the English Bill of Rights as the sole influence on Virginia's Declaration of Rights. For the reasons I've given above, nearly a year having passed since I proposed its deletion, I have deleted the reference to the English document. J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 18:13, 13 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inclusion of Oman and Ibadhism in the Medieval Institutions section?[edit]

I've been doing some library research lately on the obscure nation of Oman and Ibadism, the obscure sect of Islam they follow which is neither Sunni nor Shi'a. What I'm finding in most sources - and I haven't added them all to the relevant articles yet - is that apparently the Ibadites in Oman have been electing leaders since the 8th century, mostly undisturbed by the turmoil in the rest of the Middle East; monarchy is a recent thing there. If you check out History_of_Oman#Early_Islamic_period, you'll find sources from Stacey International as well as a US Library of Congress study stating as much and there are some more I might add soon.
Is there a way this could possibly be mentioned as a blurb in History_of_democracy#Medieval_institutions? It's quite curious that in the Mideast of all places, people were ruled by people who were chosen but there it is. MezzoMezzo (talk) 06:06, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just found another source, this one a reference book on Arab tribes in Oman, also mentioning that they traditionally elected their leaders. I'm going to go ahead and add the info along with the sources. MezzoMezzo (talk) 07:20, 9 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article, particularly as it deals with the 20th and 21st Centuries, contains many partisan assertions concerning various political and military actions, such as the establishment of the State of Israel, the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the "Arab Spring" movements, whose effective contributions to democracy are all highly debatable and hotly debated. I have added a "POV-check" tag in hopes that some knowledgeable editors will enforce a NPOV. J. D. Crutchfield | Talk 18:05, 13 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phoenicia democracy[edit]

Please note that new researches show us first Athens like democracy even much stronger, applied at Phoenician states. [1][2]

The United States Constitution[edit]

Original wording "The United States: the Founding Fathers rejected 'democracy' as defined by the Greeks, preferring instead 'a natural aristocracy',[93] whereby only the landed gentry were entitled to a place in Congress." This statement uses the reference:

In the work cited, "Equality: John Adams to Thomas Jefferson," John Adams states the following:

"there is a natural Aristocracy among men; the grounds of which are Virtue and Talents."

He is not referencing "landed gentry," as supposed by the Wiki writer. Adams speaks of characteristics defining natural aristocrats, not wealth. Also, the statement from the Wiki article overgeneralizes the citation to all Founding Fathers. This citation does not say that the founding fathers "rejected 'democracy.'" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 28 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I replaced the original wording with something more factual. The original wording (immediately here above) was based on a letter John Adams wrote in 1813, long after the Constitution was drafted and states were allowing far more than just the 'landed gentry' to vote. Anyone who was 21 years or older and who owned land could vote--no requirement for being of a noble family or having aristocratic roots.Starlists (talk) 04:43, 17 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Diodorus mentions that after the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years "they were conquered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, were administered in a democratic fashion".[3][4]

Herodotus in Histories gives an account on a debate over the constitution of Iran (Persia) in 522 BC, where Otanes argued in favor of democracy and the principle of equality before the law.[5] Otanes recommended that the management of public affairs should be entrusted to the whole nation. He said, "it seems advisable, that we should no longer have a single man to rule over us. the rule of one is neither good nor pleasant... How indeed is it possible that monarchy should be a well-adjusted thing, when it allows a man to do as he likes without being answerable?... I vote, therefore, that we do away with monarchy, and raise the people to power. For the people are all in all."[6][7][8]

I've moved the above section here because it is only supported by primary sources and therefore OR, but I think it is too interesting to hide it in the version history. Maybe secondary sources can be found (Encyclopaedia Iranica perhaps?). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:46, 15 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Cradle of Democracy
  2. ^ Before Athens: Early Popular Government in Phoenician and Greek City States
  3. ^ Diodorus 9.20
  4. ^ "Diodorus Siculus, Library, Fragments of Book 9, Chapter 20". Perseus. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Otanes". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Herodotus: 3.80-97". The Latin Library. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  7. ^ "The History of Herodotus". Sacred Texts. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Herodotus: Book three". Reed. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
This isn't good use of either of those primary sources. Diodoros is actually (mis)quoting Herodotos in that passage, so he isn't an independent source. Herodotos' representation of the Persians debating whether democracy, oligarchy or monarchy was the best constitution for Persia is generally interpreted as him projecting his own political thought about constitutions (derived from the Greek situation), rather than an accurate transcription of a real Persian discussion. Furius (talk) 02:14, 15 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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== Republic vs Democracy ==

This entire Article should be re-written and an emphasis should be placed on the difference between republic and democracy. Switzerland, Iceland vs England etc,... Very poor Article. Get started all over folks and leave your Anglo-centrism at the doorstep.

De facto there isn't much difference between a Republic or a Democracy, it's merely a semantic one in the context of today. Most republics now have a democratic (bicameral) house of parliament to control the power of the president/ruler and most representative democracies either have a president or a monarch as head of state, if only in name (not wielding real power in most cases). But yeah, a republic doesn't have to be a democracy. Grifo (talk) 01:39, 8 July 2021 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Needs big clean up[edit]

The article is very long, the sections on Athens and Rome are too long, some of it is irrelevant to the issue of democracy and is just general history. The 19th century, when democracy as we know really emerged is just a list of bullet points and doesn't go into enough detail on suffrage and power of parliaments. The parts after that don't really deal with the subject either, and the 21st section is too long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 18 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adaptation to Illiterate Voters[edit]

This article fails to mention the unique Indian device which allows universal suffrage despite a high level of illiteracy at independence. This consists of a simple ballot placed in a box of the voter's choice. One locked box is provided for each candidate and marked with a symbol such as a hand or spinning wheel or broom, etcetera. An electronic machine based on the same principle has been used for the last five election cycles. There are multiple keys, each marked by a unique symbol, and the voter can only press one key, only once. The Indian EVM is not networked and has no software; each machine must be physically secured. Sooku (talk) 07:54, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Monks and pirates[edit]

I miss a mention of the election of abbots by monks and the election of captains by pirates (not privateers).--Error (talk) 09:57, 25 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Republic of Nassau[edit]

I understand that it wasn't a longlasting experiment, nor a profound one in respect to law and order which is in essence also part of a fully functional democracy, yet it is a vital one to depict the time and age of which these philosophies gained more attention and the number of followers grew a lot. Yet, the forming of the rogue pirate Republic of Nassau is missing in the list. I plea to add it as well to the list for aforementioned reasons and to make such a list as complete as possible. And it wasn't merely for economic reasons the English crown ended this rogue Republic in a few years after it was formed. It also feared (the spreading of) its ideals it was built upon, including its democratic and equalitarian nature. Grifo (talk) 01:28, 8 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Democracy is a system of goverment 2409:4053:2E81:5713:0:0:1548:9315 (talk) 02:38, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


We should definitely remove GIF "Democracy since 1816". It not only uses only modern borders, it is also obviously painted from a western point of view.

Types of government[edit]

Types of suggestion 2409:4043:248C:574D:0:0:ED5:38B1 (talk) 15:14, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Forms of proto-democracy that predate agrarian societies do not still exist virtually unchanged[edit]

The History of democracy#Historic origins section includes the following statement:

Anthropologists have identified forms of proto-democracy that date back to small bands of hunter-gatherers that predate the establishment of agrarian, sedentary societies and still exist virtually unchanged

I couldn't find this in the cited text, though specific page numbers could help. Regardless, this is disputed by Graeber and Wengrow:

For much of the twentieth century, anthropologists tended to describe the societies they studied in ahistorical terms, as living in a kind of eternal present. Some of this was an effect of the colonial situation under which much ethnographic research was carried out. The British Empire, for instance, maintained a system of indirect rule in various parts of Africa, India and the Middle East where local institutions like royal courts, earth shrines, associations of clan elders, men’s houses and the like were maintained in place, indeed fixed by legislation. Major political change – forming a political party, say, or leading a prophetic movement – was in turn entirely illegal, and anyone who tried to do such things was likely to be put in prison. This obviously made it easier to describe the people anthropologists studied as having a way of life that was timeless and unchanging.

This article will need some work to address the systemic bias here. Freoh (talk) 19:57, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What does it mean for democracy to be generally associated with the ancient Greeks?[edit]

The current lead section states that democracy is generally associated with the efforts of the ancient Greeks. I couldn't find this in the cited source, though page numbers might help. Regardless, this seems like a poor use of weasel words. What does it mean to be "generally associated"? Freoh (talk) 10:40, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The vast majority of scholarship on the history of democracy draws a link from Ancient Athens and the democratic aspects of the Roman constitution, through Renaissance & Early modern political thinkers, to modern democratic states. One symptom of this is the fact that "democracy" is an ancient Greek word Demokrateia. A relatively recent book-length study of this is Cartledge, Paul (2016). Democracy : a life. New York, NY. ISBN 9780199837458.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link), which also supplies further references. My feeling is that this article has become so focussed on nuancing that picture (e.g. there were societies elsewhere that had institutions like democracy) and is so deficient on the early modern period, that that this general narrative (which does need to be nuanced) gets lost entirely. The history section in the wiki article on democracy is a much better piece of work (Democracy#History). Furius (talk) 11:02, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree that the history section in the wiki article on democracy is a much better piece of work. It starts off by saying democracies and republics have been rare without citing page numbers and ignoring evidence to the contrary. Freoh (talk) 11:24, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who believes that ancient Greece was the beginning of democracy?[edit]

The current History of democracy#Democratic societies section states that it is believed that ancient Greece was the beginning of democracy, but the cited source pushes back against this idea. Who believes this? What does it mean for ancient Greece to be the beginning of democracy? Democracy had more than one beginning, and I haven't seen any evidence for an absence of democracy pre-Athens. Freoh (talk) 12:02, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See the book that I just referred you to, page 1. Furius (talk) 12:31, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even that source admits that it's controversial, and his argument uses a fairly precise definition of democracy:

However, despite those acknowledged ambiguities, one thing was not in dispute or open to argument about ancient Greek demokratia: whether you loved it or hated it, it denoted and connoted power, or, more precisely, political power (the derivation of ‘political’ from Greek polis will require separate exegesis later on). Isakhan and Stockwell and at least the great majority of those scholars whose work they edit do not share that precise ancient Greek focalization and concentration on power.

The word "democracy" is used much more broadly these days, see Democracy#Types of governmental democracies. I don't think that we should act like it's a general belief that ancient Greece was the beginning of democracy in general without more context. Freoh (talk) 01:06, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cartledge admits that there is some discussion (and I acknowledge that too fwiw), but he comes nowhere near suggesting that the mainstream view is not that Athens was the first democracy. See also: Woodruff, Paul (16 March 2006). First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-530454-1.; Mitchell, Thomas N. (2019). Athens: A History of the World's First Democracy. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-24660-5.; Kagan, Donald (1991). Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-86395-5.) You have yet to provide any evidence that any scholarly source claims it was not, let alone that that is the mainstream opinion. I don't see how Cartledge's emphasis on democracy as the power of the people is distinct from modern interpretations of democracy, nor does he claim it is (they "do not share that precise... focalisation" not "they have a different definition"). Nor would he accept that the ancient Greek democracy was a totally distinct and different entity from modern ones, since the whole point of the second half of his book is to illustrate the line of descent from ancient to modern democracies. Furius (talk) 15:24, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, this about the 5th place you have raised this. Heaven knows how many editors have pointed out defects in your reasoning. Johnbod (talk) 21:02, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Democracy among animals[edit]

Sparkie82 has added some text on democracy among animals. I strongly oppose this change. Firstly, the BBC is a good source for news, but not a reliable source for history. Secondly, I think it gives undue weight to put this in the first sentence of the text body. Thirdly, this is an article about the history of democracy, while this kind of animal behaviour has no discernible history. Since there are some academic articles that use the term democratic in connection to this behaviour, I could agree with a mention in democracy (certainly not as the first sentence of the text body though), but I think it better belongs to eusociality. T8612 (talk) 13:49, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. The concept of "democracy" is been progressively diluted by constantly increasing various limited forms (primitive-democracies or tribalism) to the point we are losing focus from the main subject. Talking about a tribalism in X or Y country does not help the article. When I wrote the antiquity sections more than a decade ago, I did so with an open minded and being inclusive. However, it feels now that this might have been a mistake as it does not stopped the push for alternative theories not supported by the mainstream scholarship.User:A.Cython

I also agree. The weak point of this article is actually the history of democracy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, which is composed largely of bullet point lists. The edge cases are not irrelevant, but many of them are defining "democracy" as any form of group decision making, which is actually only one of the concept. Furius (talk) 23:32, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nearly every article I've read titled "History of...", in which the subject has origins predating written history, will include some mention at the begin of its chronology about what is known about those prehistoric origins. Some articles will have just a sentence or two, while others will have an entire section about it. This aricle would be incomplete without a mention about what is known about the prehistoric origins of democracy.
As to the cited source, WP prefers secondary sources, which are often feature stories that themselves reference academic sources. Sparkie82 (tc) 01:39, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1) WP:NEWSORG: "Scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports for academic topics". (2) The suggestion that these forms of group decision making are in some way the "prehistoric origins" of human democracy - stated in your edit here, implied by their inclusion in an "Origins" section in this article - is not in the source provided, making it WP:SYNTH or WP:OR. Furius (talk) 17:39, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Furius: Your comment "I agree. The weak point of this article is actually the history of democracy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, which is composed largely of bullet point lists....", had nothing to with democracy among animals which totally confused me and is why I tried to refactor the section (thinking you had accidentally posted to the wrong thread). Sparkie82 (tc) 18:15, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This article is not titled "History of human democracy", it's "History of democracy". All evidence indicates that democracy predates humans. If you think we should use the scholarly sources that say this instead of the secoundary sources, I'm ok with that. Sparkie82 (tc) 18:15, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm agreeing with User:T8612's objections and with User:A.Cython's comment that this article has become overly focussed on edge cases (prehistory, India, animals) at the expense of actually providing an account of the core points in the history of democracy.
It is highly questionable that "democracy" exists among animals. A puff piece from a BBC magazine won't cut it and at best establishes it as a WP:FRINGE opinion. Note that "democracy" is not just group decision making; it is a type of government. Our article on democracy and our article on government both present their topics as exclusively human phenomena. Furius (talk) 02:44, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]