Which countries have a similar history?

Oldest continuously democratic states worldwide in 2021

Published by Bernhard Weidenbach, May 10, 2021
The United States of America has the longest existing democracy in the world: The democratic form of government in the USA was established in 1776 after independence from the United Kingdom - so the USA can look back on 245 years of democratic history (as of 2021²). In Switzerland, after the Sonderbund War between the conservative-Catholic and the liberal-progressive cantons in 1848, it was finally transformed into a modern federal state. Switzerland can therefore look back on 173 years of democratic history.

Which states followed?

New Zealand can look back on 164 years of democracy: In 1857 the British colony was able to achieve extensive autonomy and establish a democratic system, much like the British colony of Canada, which introduced the democratic system in 1867 (154 years). In 1885 the UK finally became democratic (although some institutions go back much further) and can boast 135 years of democracy. As a result of the Second World War, a large number of states turned to democracy within a very short period of time. Examples of this are in particular European countries such as Austria, Italy and France.
In this country, democracy had a difficult path. The first attempt at this form of government is dated to the Weimar Republic (1918 to 1933). However, democracy was not able to assert itself consistently: After the Weimar Republic, there was a fundamental change of government towards the National Socialist dictatorship. The democracy, which still exists in this form today, can only be traced back to the establishment of the Federal Republic in 1949.

What influence does democracy have?

For the ranking, three requirements were set for democracy:
  • Direct or indirect election of the executive in elections and responsibility of the executive towards the people or the legislature
  • The legislature is elected in free and equal elections
  • A majority of men / people can vote