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American Revolution and Iraq Democratization

O'Sullivan (73) argues that democracies, regardless of some of their governmental forms or practices, share certain essential features. These include universal suffrage, representative government, an independent judiciary, a military that is subordinate to civil authority, a free press, freedom of speech and religion, and the existence of a constitution in which individual rights and government duties and powers are clearly delineated.

The United States did not achieve each and every one of these aspects of democracy immediately upon defeating the British in the American Revolution (Norton, et al, 171-173). It took a period of trial and error for the new United States to write a Constitution, which has been modified over time. Just as democracy was not born as a fully mature institution in the United States, it has not emerged in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein without difficulties.

Of course, the critical difference between the American Revolution and the democratization taking place in Iraq is that the colonists in America rose up against the government that controlled them and the people of Iraq did not rise up against Saddam Hussein (Huang, 28). Iraq was moved along the path to democratization because the United States and a handful of its allies invaded Iraq with the express purpose of


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