A person casts their vote in the second round of the 2007 French presidential election.
In some countries, reporting on certain topics is prevented or restricted by governments.
Constitution of the Year XII (First French Republic)
Democracy's de facto status in the world as of 2020, according to Democracy Index by The Economist
Cumhuriyet s former editor-in-chief Can Dündar receiving the 2015 Reporters Without Borders Prize. Shortly after, he was arrested.
Constitution of the Kingdom of Naples in 1848.
Democracy's de jure status in the world as of 2020; only Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Brunei, Afghanistan, and the Vatican do not claim to be a democracy.
Freedom of the Press status 2017.
Detail from Hammurabi's stele shows him receiving the laws of Babylon from the seated sun deity.
Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.
Georgiy Gongadze, Ukrainian journalist, founder of a popular Internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000.
Diagram illustrating the classification of constitutions by Aristotle.
Magna Carta, 1215, England
First page of John Milton's 1644 edition of Areopagitica
Third volume of the compilation of Catalan Constitutions of 1585
John Locke expanded on Thomas Hobbes's social contract theory and developed the concept of natural rights, the right to private property and the principle of consent of the governed. His ideas form the ideological basis of liberal democracies today.
The Statute was adopted as the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, granting freedom of the press.
The Cossack Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk, 1710.
Statue of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, in front of the Austrian Parliament Building. Athena has been used as an international symbol of freedom and democracy since at least the late eighteenth century.
Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was a driving force of suppressing freedom of the press in Nazi Germany.
A painting depicting George Washington at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution
The establishment of universal male suffrage in France in 1848 was an important milestone in the history of democracy.
Newspaper Ora, in 1999, cover page.
Constitution of May 3, 1791 (painting by Jan Matejko, 1891). Polish King Stanisław August (left, in regal ermine-trimmed cloak), enters St. John's Cathedral, where Sejm deputies will swear to uphold the new Constitution; in background, Warsaw's Royal Castle, where the Constitution has just been adopted.
The number of nations 1800–2003 scoring 8 or higher on Polity IV scale, another widely used measure of democracy
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist and critic, but was murdered by the Saudi Government.
Presidential copy of the Russian Constitution.
Corazon Aquino taking the Oath of Office, becoming the first female president in Asia
2022 Press Freedom Index 
Good situation
Satisfactory situation
Noticeable problems
Difficult situation
Very serious situation
Not classified / No data
Magna Carta
Age of democracies at the end of 2015
United States Constitution
Meeting of the Grand Committee of the Parliament of Finland in 2008.
Countries autocratizing (red) or democratizing (blue) substantially and significantly (2010–2020). Countries in grey are substantially unchanged.
designated "electoral democracies" in Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2021 survey, covering the year 2020.
A Landsgemeinde (in 2009) of the canton of Glarus, an example of direct democracy in Switzerland
In Switzerland, without needing to register, every citizen receives ballot papers and information brochures for each vote (and can send it back by post). Switzerland has a direct democracy system and votes (and elections) are organised about four times a year; here, to Berne's citizen in November 2008 about 5 national, 2 cantonal, 4 municipal referendums, and 2 elections (government and parliament of the City of Berne) to take care of at the same time.
Queen Elizabeth II, a constitutional monarch
Banner in Hong Kong asking for democracy, August 2019

Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitution or other legal protection and security.

- Freedom of the press

In the common variant of liberal democracy, the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority—usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech or freedom of association.

- Democracy

In some countries, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and internet democracy are considered important to ensure that voters are well informed, enabling them to vote according to their own interests.

- Democracy

A free and independent press has been theorized to be a key mechanism of a functioning, healthy democracy.

- Freedom of the press

The model proposed that constitutional governments should be stable, adaptable, accountable, open and should represent the people (i.e., support democracy).

- Constitution

Freedom of the press

- Constitution
A person casts their vote in the second round of the 2007 French presidential election.

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