Who is the father of democracy? Not Thomas Jefferson, as many people believe. It was, in fact, Cleisthenes. He first introduced democracy to the Greek city states in 508 BC, after he gained political power in Athens. From 508 to 502 BC, he began to develop a series of major reforms, leading to the formation of Athenian Democracy. He made all free men living in Athens and Attica citizens, giving them the right to vote as part of a democratic society. He also established a council (boule). All citizens over the age of thirty were eligible to sit on the council, encouraging public involvement in the government. While the format may not be the same as the many democracies around the world today, this was the first step.
That the United States is not a true democracy but a republic is a subject for another day.