What are the basic concepts of democracy

Lesson #02: Basic Concepts of Democracy

Baron Montesquieu and John Locke


This lesson explores core concepts of American democracy such as majority rule, the equality of all persons and the need to compromise.

Central Questions:

  1. What is democracy?
  2. What are central concepts in the American Democratic System?


  • Title: 02.title.png
  • Board/markers
  • Large newsprint, Post-Its
  • Video: The American Promise Acts 1-5, Responsibility in a Democracy (call The American Promise at 1-800-204-7722 for a free copy).
  • Student Guide 1: Democratic Concepts
  • Student Guide 2: Responsibility in a Democracy

Warm-up Activity:

Prepare a list of key concepts related to democracy. Suggestions follow.

  • Fundamental Worth of the Individual
  • Majority Rule with Minority Rights
  • Necessity of Compromise
  • Individual Freedom
  • Equality of All Persons

Write each concept on a piece of newsprint or large Post-It and place them around the room. Place a magic marker with each poster.

Begin class by asking students to think about how each of the concepts listed on th board relates to democracy. Then ask students to rank the concepts in order of importance to a democratic society. reinforce that there is no correct answer.

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