- The real significance of the conquest and colonization of the Americas is that it was one of history's biggest natural experiments: take two Western cultures, export them an impose them on a wide range of different peoples and lands--the British in the North, the Spanish and Portuguese in the South. Then see which does better.
- In reality, democracy was the capstone of an edifice that had as its foundation the rule of law--to be precise, the sanctity of individual freedom and the security of property rights, ensured by representative, constitutional government.
A point which our current political "leaders" would do well to study up on when they speak of the Constitution being a "living document", or deriding the idea that American Exceptionalism is some kind of conservative shibboleth.
Yes, Your Imperial Majesty, I'm looking at you.