Introduction to American Politics online course discussion – Dahl ch 2

I’m trying to study for my Political Science course and I need some help to understand this question.

Please reply to the question and comment constructively on a classmates’ posting.


Dahl, Ch 2: “Where and How did Democracy Develop?” Read it and discuss with your peers. Speak to each other directly and help steer the discussion.

Here is classmate’s posting from question. Please reply in 1st person point of view.

Classmate’s post

I agree with Dahl in his book, On Democracy, when he says on page 9 that he believes democracy can be independently invented and reinvented whenever the appropriate conditions exist.

On page 18, Dahl starts to talk about the Vikings and how they knew little or nothing about democracy or any political practices. This was particularly interesting to me because they had no influence from others but still formed their democracy, so to speak. On page 19, Dahl tells a story about messenger that asked the Danish Vikings “What is the name of your master?” They replied, “None, we are all equals.” This only applied to the free men. The Vikings still kept slaves and prisoners. They took their political practices with them when they traveled to Iceland which then started a chain reaction to other countries. This is where i come to understand and agree with Dahl that democracy is created independently like how the Vikings did, and how it is reinvented like when the Vikings took their practices to Iceland.

In the book it also describes how that chain reaction from the Vikings created parliments, monarchs, and other forms of political practices that stray far from democracy. Along the way there was a lot of resistance, movements, rebellions, civil wars, and revolutions as Dahl says on page 25.

Works Cited

Dahl, Robert A, and Ian Shapiro. On Democracy. Yale University Press, 2015.

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