Formative Moments

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Your first paper should answer one question from the first part of the course, Formative Moments (weeks 2-4). 

Your second paper should answer one question from the second part of the course Development of Modern Representative Democracy and its Challenges (weeks 5-7). 

Each question below presumes you have carefully read and understood the set material for the topic in question, and expects you to develop an argument that draws on the readings, citing them where necessary. Your papers should be submitted to the assigned folders on D2L.

Formative Moments

  • Ancient democracy was itself an attempt to extend genuine freedom, the ability to shape their own destinies, to men whose background or skills suggested they were incapable of autonomy. — Cynthia Farrar, “Ancient Greek political theory as a response to democracy.”


  • What were the “diseases most incident to republican government” according to Madison? What were its various remedies? Were they sufficient to rid such ‘diseases’ from the body politic?
  • Unless you do everything for liberty, you have done nothing. There are no two ways of being free: one must be entirely free, or become a slave once more. —Maximilien Robespierre.

Discuss with reference to the causes and consequences of the French Revolution.

The Development of Modern Representative Democracy and its Challenges

  • And so in capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority. – Vladimir Lenin, State and Revolution (1917).

Discuss with reference to the Paris Commune and the Soviet Union.

  • Fascism was a counter-revolution against a [socialist] revolution that never took place. – Ignazio Silone.



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