Questioning the “Age of Democratic Revolution”

Over at The Junto I have an essay on defining “Democratic” in the long-used title, “Age of Democratic Revolutions. An excerpt:

In short, I tried to get my students to recognize the inchoate and contested nature of “democracy” during this crucial era. Far from a predetermined trajectory toward what we came to celebrate as democratic rule, it was a much more contested and topsy-turvy battle over centralized control and populist excess. We closed the semester by discussing how today’s emphasis on these “messy” origins highlights our own reservations concerning democratic practice. My conceptions of the Age of Revolutions is shaped by living in the Age of Trump.

You can read the rest of it here.

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