There are different stages through which democracy developed into its current form. The struggle for democracy started with the rights for white men in the United States and France.
In the 20th century, the struggle for democracy included the right to vote to be granted universally to all adults, men or women, rich or poor, white or black. This is termed as Universal Adult Franchise or Universal Suffrage.
Prior to 20th century, the governments were elected mostly by men, and in the case of the United States, mostly white men.
Many of the countries in Asia, Africa and European Nations became democracies immediately after the Second World War in 1945. Ghana was a British colony and was called the Gold Coast as it had rich gold reserves. Ghana was amongst the first African countries to gain independence in 1957.
The process of world democratisation was accelerated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which controlled much of Eastern Europe. The break-up of the Soviet Union into many independent countries led to major changes in the political map of the world.
About 140 countries held multi-party, democratic elections in the year 2005. Countries, including powerful nations like China, North Korea and Burma, are still non-democratic.
Myanmar, previously known as Burma, gained independence from Great Britain in 1948 and became a democracy. Democracy in Myanmar did not last very long, as the country was taken over in a military coup by General Ne Win in 1962. In 1990, the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the election.