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To what extent is the United States of America a democracy? The U.S. has often been touted as the greatest democratic nation on earth, yet the last four years demonstrated that a more authoritarian style of government is also part of the country’s political culture. Strongman sentiments have generally been relegated to the gothic regimes of Deep South states such as Louisiana, where “the Kingfish” Huey Long reached the zenith of his autocratic power during the 1920s and 1930s. But we can in fact track the development of American authoritarianism as a national phenomenon from the 1787 Constitutional Convention onwards. What does this history tell us about the present state of U.S. politics and what will the future look like?