Maps of political systems in chronological order
Here, in a chronological order I would like to present
a few maps that shows political systems of different countries at
various moments of history.
Here is the basic legend for the maps:
YELLOW indicates feudal system
RED indicates populistic system
BLUE indicates democratic system
WHITE means "no reasonable data" or "no country"
(pre-feudal barbarian lands).
GREEN means that there is very hard to determine
political status, because of the dependent status of green-marked
Map shows today's borders to simplify overall pattern
for those of readers who are not accustomed to historical maps and are
little schematic (look at eastern border of Poland on the map of Europe,
it looks rather strange), as most of the maps form www.theodora.com/maps
There could be some mistakes in classification, but (I
hope) only a few.
First map presents the first ancient civilizations
Corrections: november 2005
As you can see, firsts civilizations were feudal like
Egypt and China, or populistic like Sumer civilization, Minoan
civilization, Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa civilization (probably), and Majan
- Brown arrows
indicate the major directions of expansion of civilizations
- Blue arrows
shows migrations of the Indo-European tribes launched (probably)
by the expansion and fall of Minoan civilization
civilizations presented here are not contemporary, especially American
civilizations are about 2000 years younger than civilizations of the Old
Here is a map of Mediterranean region during Greek
colonization (850 - 450 BC)
Aesthetic corrections: november
Red arrows indicates directions of Greek city-states
Blue arrows indicates directions of Phoenician
Gray arrow indicates directions of Etruscan city-states
Green arrows shows expansion of the Celtic tribes
launched by the fall (crisis) of Etruscan city-states.
Orange is used to mark Macedonia that was feudal state
but in times of Philip II (father of Alexander the Great, about 360 BC)
And now the map of Roman Empire at the end of the
Dark blue color indicates the the city-state of Rome (the core of the empire).
Light blue color indicates all the countries conquered
or incorporated by Rome before 133 BC.
- And many neighbouring feudal countries marked
yellow were clients or allies of Rome.
Next map show populistic Roman Empire at the peak of
i.e. end of IInd century AD.
indicates populistic lands inside of the borders of Roman Empire
(generally Italy nad Greece were the core of Empire).
Orange indicates feudal lands ruled by Rome.
Dusk of the Medieval dawn of the Renaissance
In the Medieval Ages most of the countries (except
periodically populistic Byzantine Empire, and some Italian city-states)
were feudal states, so next maps shows Europe in XV century.
There were few populistic states in northern Italy,
populistic Switzerland Union, and one big populistic country: Turkey
that was just about to build a great empire (the Osman Empire - red
border show its conqueries in the middle of XVth century). Plus there
were some populistic free cities in northern Europe. It is important to
note that this map is little simplified, and some populistic countries
should be drawn as the Republic of the Great Novogorod (in northern
Russia) was: a small red
populistic city-state, and lands conquered by that state marked using a
red border line .
Brown indicates Bohemia that was
populistic for a short period (since the Hussites heresy, about
I am not sure about the political system of Portugal in XVth
Next map shows Europe in the second half of the XVII
There were only a few populistic states (but they are
larger than former city-states): England (since The English Revolution,
more or less 1642), Netherlands, Switzerland, and city-states of the
Northern Italy (that had fallen into stagnation because of trade route
shift at the beginning of XVI century - a concequence of great discoveries).
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) was no longer populistic, because large
conquered territories launched
diffusion process that turned Turkey back into feudal state. The most powerful populistic state were
Map of the XVIII century Europe (before the Great
This map looks almost the same as previous one, but
there is one important change: England after the Splendid Revolution
(1689) became the first democratic country (in modern times),
and therefore is marked blue.
New agricultural technologies, and "industrial
revolution" at the end of XVIIIth century allows cities to grow ever
bigger than before, so since then all changes of political systems are
irreversible (we can no more observe situation when democratic system
turns back to populistic or populistic country turns back to feudal).
And here is the World in 1845
This map shows the World after The Great French
Revolution (1789) that made France a populistic country, and national
revolutions in Latin America (1815-1830). But just before the Spring of
Nations (1848) when most of the Central European Countries (ex. Germany,
Austria, and Southern Italy) become populistic. There were only a three
democratic countries these tmes: Great Britain, Sweden, and (probably)
Belgium. Plus two federal countries which were partially democratic, and
partially populistic: Switzerland and USA (generally. southern states
and frontier states were populistic).
There were some feudal countries in Africa but I have
not enough data to draw their borders, so these states are not marked
Next map shows the World in 1875
There were a few new democratic countries:
Netherlands, Switzerland (both since 1848), USA (since 1865) and French
(after the war with Germany that was ended in 1871). One relatively new
(since 1868), and important populistic country is Japan. Countries
brown in Balkans are just going to become independent
Here the World before the First World War
Three big populistic states (Russia 1905, Turkey 1909,
and China 1910) destroyed the balance between democratic, and populistic
countries. Furthermore the end of colonial expansion (including USA expansion) made wars
relatively more profitable option for great non-democratic powers,
so the World War was unevitable.
I have no data to determine status of some Arabic
countries, so they are marked
Since 1911 there were no more
independent, feudal countries. I will use
orange to mark populistic countries that are changing to
Now there is a map of Europe after the Second World
After the Second World War a few new democratic
countries appeared in Europe: Germany, Italy, Austria, and Finland.
Poland was marked
orange because it could become democratic (after 1944) but
Soviet Union domination freezes the political changes for a few decades.
The same happens to other Central European countries: West Germany
(after 1953), Hungary (after 1956), and Czechoslovakia (after 1968).
I should mention here that I have a little problem with the
classification of political system of Czech (Bohemia) between World Wars
And map of the World after the Second World War
You propably noticed two more democratic countries:
Japan, and Israel, and there were several new populistic countries in
the Middle East, in East Asia, and of course India (the biggest of
World in 1963
Then came the end of European colonial domination in
Africa (except a few Portuguese
colonies), so I should present the map of World in 1963.
Since then there are (probably) no more
Here is the map of Europe in 1978
In the middle of 70-ties a few populistic countries in
Europe became democratic (Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Ireland). It was
a prelude to more dramatic political changes that will start after 1989.
After the 1989 we can observe probably the
greatest changes in the World history. Several dozens of countries which
were populistic become democratic (and this process continues). Before
1989 only about 850 millions of people lived in democratic countries
(about 15% of the World population). Today in democratic countries live
about 3000 millions of people (over 50% of the World population). Below
a few maps illustrating these changes. Of course, I was not able to
trace situation in all countries of the World, so there could be some
mistakes, especially in classification of African, and Central American
Here the first map documenting these changes
Europe in 1992 (after the fall of Soviet Union).
Compare that picture with the map above.
And the World in 1992
As you can see, there are several new
democratic countries, mainly in Central Europe, and Latin America. A few
countries: Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand became democratic in South
East Asia. An of course South Africa in the very south end of Africa.
Next map shows the World in 1997 (the year of the
In 1997 most of the Central European and Latin America
countries were democratic (or have been started to change into a
democratic system). And we can't of course forget about some countries
like: Indonesia, Iran, and (the most important) India, which started to
change to a democratic states more or less that year. I have marked
orange Turkey, but here (similarly like ex. in South Korea or Brasilia)
the process of changes was very gradual, so there is hard to point out
when a democratic system begins.
World at the beginning of XXI century (2000/2001)
End of the millennium deserves a separate map.
And finally, map of the World today (2003)
In a very short time we could expect that a few other
countries will become democratic. For sure Russia, and maybe some
countries from Middle East, and southern coast of Mediterranean Sea. I
have marked these countries with
yellow dots (WARNING: my theory is
already obsolete, so you should forget about YELLOW DOTS - september 2007).
And there is a slight chance that I am mistaken about Iraqi.
All maps here were prepared before July 2003.
But the first five maps were little corrected when I was writing
"General History Rewritten".
If you see that political
system of particular country reverses on next maps (i.e. color
changes from blue to red or orange, or from orange to red) it does
not mean that political system reversed here. It means only that I
am correcting a mistake in classification like in the case of Haiti
(see some remarks about 1993) -
because of limited available
data I sometimes have to guess the political system.
corrections, January-February 2006