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How and why do political systems change? Essay

Political systems through the world have changed over the ages. A political system is a significant set of social institutions implemented among the people by the government. Political systems have a lot of functions. Political systems create resources for health, education, welfare, industry and foreign policy. Political systems have changed significantly over centuries and are still changing everyday. To understand why and how political systems change, there are many factors. Some major factors are development, government upheaval and the economy. A main factor and influence on why a political systems change is due to the countries social economy.

There is always a positive relationship between economic development and equality or income. The Linearity theory states that economic development leads to urbanization which leads to communication which leads to high levels of education and in turn leads to Democracy. This theory does an excellent job in showing how economics lead to a change in political systems. Wealthier nations such as the United States, Japan and other European countries often have more reasonable income distributions than poorer countries. But countries like Russia had a poor distribution of social economy due to communism. The USSR was a communist country believing in state owned and centrally planned government.

The communists were able to keep up with the other large capital powers of the world. But as time went on and they tried to catch up, their economy was too hard to control. Their products were poor quality and their quantity was created on a need basis. There was no efficiency. The people of Russia would have to wait years for cars, apartments and waited hours in lines for simple things like food and other basic necessities. The soviets began to argue with the government. In 1991, Russia had gone through the worst of it’s inflation and industrial problems. Eventually Russia became the Russian Federation and there was an end to Communism.

Urbanization is another reason that political systems change and develop. People run out of resources on their rural lands and are forced to flee to the bigger cities. People go to the bigger cities hoping to find a better life for their families and themselves. As more people go these cities, it creates more jobs. Industry grows and the social economy also grows. Political systems begin to create governments that work on foreign policy and trade which creates more a more stable economy. Sooner or later the political systems shape their governments to model those of the other larger wealthier countries in the world.

Another factor that changed many countries political systems is that of a revolutionary change. Two countries that were strongly influenced by the revolutionary alteration were Russia and Germany. After World War I, Russians believed the revolution lead to the collapse of imperialism. Russia was doing well before the war. Industry was still growing and the moral of the people was high. That did not last long though, the war changed everything. When the Russian military went to war against Germany, the tsarist government fell. As the tsarist government fell apart so did the Russian economy. The government found themselves trapped in a situation that they knew little about. Eventually a Russian revolution created a party with the help of Germany lead to the fall of imperialism and capitalism. Soon after Russia became a communist country. Revolutionary change is apparent when looking at China’s development as a government.

China and Russia’s political change are similar in many ways. One of the biggest revolutionary movements in China was Maoism. Maoism was created by a person named Mao Zedong. Mao believed in strengthening and rebuilding China and by doing so, he and his followers believed in guerrilla warfare and in turn created a so-called revolution. Maoism believed that it was important to listen to the peasants and tried to propaganda to join his army. He believed heavily in guerrilla warfare to take over the government. Mao’s acts were unsuccessful and in 1949 Communism became China’s government.

Great Britain is a country were evolutionary change and development not only influenced its own development, but also many other countries in the world. Great Britain government is considered the mother government. It is the oldest government in existence. Their evolution as a government was watched and studied by many countries. And due in part that one time the British Empire was one of the largest in the world, holding various lands and territories.

Many parts of democratic governments such as the legislative and executive branch can be seen as early as 1066 for Great Britain. Great Britain legislative branch was called the Great Council and the executive branch was called king’s council. The Parliament was created early in their government and is very similar to many countries man governmental body. Great Britain created in 1689 Bill of Rights which gave people their individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech and abolishing slavery.

Within the last few years, Great Britain has seen some decline because of its old form of government. There has been no major change in years in their government and some researchers believe it is effected their economy and other problems the country is having. This can be seen in Britain’s way of putting “old wine in new bottles”. The British Parliament can be compared to other main bodies such as the House of Representatives in the United States., Great Britain created the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights created human rights for everyone.

Many countries around the world have tried to create similar rights for their people. Although Great Britain economy has a slight decline within the last few years, it has proven to be one of the most stable governments in the world. The political attitudes vary from country to country as well as they always change. As countries evolve, the attitude of the people change according to what is happening.

In countries that are in a strong economic standing, the peoples’ attitudes probably will lead more toward a nationalist feeling. For example, the people of Germany are upset because ever since that wall separating East and West Germany had to come down, there has been lower unemployment and fewer jobs. At first everyone was so happy to see the wall come down and now some wish that it never had. It is proven that the happier the people are with their government, the more they will participate. When more people get involved, this leads to political change. Sometimes a countries political system changes when the people are not happy with the government. People get outraged with corruption, unemployment, welfare, education, and human rights. When the people are outraged, they revolt against the government. Also, the people will be supporting a leader that will change the system from the way that it is being run.

When looking at the evolution of countries and the change in their political system, it seems as if many countries have changed or have wanted to change their form of government to a democratic government. Many countries have adapted to the Western Countries forms of government. Within the past couple of decades, more and more countries are slowly moving into a democratic form of government. Democracy has not fully proven to be the answer to all country problems but has been a step closer to helping some situations.

There are many theories that try prove the democratic countries are less likely to have a war and more likely to be similar and in the long run better the world market. So as time goes on, so will the political systems of the world and the countries they exist in. For better or for worse, Political change will always have its appropriate place in the world. I do believe that the key to world unity lies in the hands of democracy. And Americans should do all in our power to implement democracy to the countries who desire it.


Shively, Phillip. “Power and Choice” eighth edition. 2003 McGraw Hill

Roskin, Michael G. “Countries and concepts” eighth edition. 2003 Prentice Hall

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