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Old 5th Dec 2008, 00:55
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: 39N 77W
Posts: 1,630
I have understood that Iceland is the oldest Democracy. I was probably taught that in a US school. But it's easier to have a democracy in a small country with a small and homogeneous population.

IMO the US is lucky to have had the small band of geniuses in the very late 18th century who produced a written Constitution which is still serviceable with relatively few major changes. The independent Legislative, Executive and (Supreme) Court branches have managed to moderate the worst swings (eventually).

Given the widely-diverse interests of the States of the new country, I find it impressive that they worked out the compromises needed to keep the country together when it was obvious that the Articles of Confederation weren't working.

At least the US hasn't had a new "Republic" every few decades.
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