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The Growth of Democratic Nation State

The idea of democratic nation state is of recent growth .Politically the first step was the unification of all authority in the hands of powerful centralized independent monarchies which took the place of ineffective and petty feudal authorities. After innumerable conflicts the principle of state absolutism became supreme in Europe. All the great reformers of Protestant Reformation enjoined on their followers passive obedience to the state. They held that the rulers to whom obedience was due ruled by divine right. In England their teaching paved the way for Tudor and Stuart despotism.

Such despotism however did not remain unchallenged. The people with the growth of enlightenment and realization of their power and importance slowly started obtaining certain rights from the rulers. The monarch lost his status of a superior being with divine rights. Royal absolutism was no longer necessary once the object of bringing order and unity was fulfilled. Political parties grew stronger and developed into open organizations representing liberal attitudes on various questions of interest to the constitutional group.

The democratic movement started in some countries, somewhere it was violent whereas in some monarchs willingly yielded to the popular will and were content to remain as figureheads under a democratic government.

The sovereignty of the people became recognized and the democratic nation state came to be established.