Democracy and Empire

Lectures in Intellectual History show

Summary: One of the great surprises of modern thought is the survival of democracy. Today the victory of democracy continues to be associated with the American and French Revolutions. But democracy was for the most part castigated by reformers and revolutionaries across Europe during the enlightenment era. Attempts to apply democratic ideas universally were generally ridiculed. The challenge faced by advocates of democracy was to make the theory compatible with larger forms of state; in short, to turn a democracy into a stable empire.