Liberal Democracies - the Netherlands

Topics: Eighty Years' War, Ancient Greece, Democracy Pages: 2 (866 words) Published: September 3, 2013
How far can the Netherlands claim to be the birth of Liberal Democracy? The Netherlands can use the work of Hugo Grotius, Justus Lipsius and Dirk Van Coornhert to support the claim that they are the birth of Liberal Democracy. However, one must also look at the influence Ancient Greece had on the birth of Liberal Democracy, as many of the leaders and theologians helped to create Liberal Democracy. One of the key figures that support the idea that the Netherlands can claim to be the birth of Liberal Democracy is Hugo Grotius. Grotius was one of the first people to introduce a society based on something other than religion – a society based on Natural Law. Natural Law is the idea that people can decide for themselves what is right or wrong; they do not need religious scriptures or preachers to tell them so. His ideas affected society because people began to question the laws laid down by the church, and so they began to break the rules because they felt they could make the decisions for themselves. Grotius also encouraged freedom of speech, which allowed society to develop. Grotius shows liberal democracy because he allows people to use reason and make decisions for themselves as well as in society with voting and having an input in who governed their country. Grotius supports the claim that the Netherland is the birth of Liberal Democracy because he brought some of the key ideas behind Liberal Democracy and the reformations that it introduced into action. Another figure that can support the claim that the Netherlands is the birth of Liberal Democracy is Justus Lipsius. Primarily, Lipsius looked for order, peace and unity in the state and in society as a whole. He maintained the previous dictator-like idea that all the power should be centred on one individual in order to keep society united, but he also stressed that this would all only be part of the unity among people and that no leader would begin another tyranny or similar form of government. Lipsius also...
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