http://www.reformedresources.com.au/ind ... vilization
This is quite an interesting read (and watch).
As a history buff and Europa Universalis player I found it fascinating to connect the dots as they do. When we think of precursors of modern democracy we usually think of the Magna Carta and the French revolution. However, the Magna Carta defined only the rights of free men and the reforms brought about by the French revolution only came after the first modern reforms were set up in North America. What lies in between then?
According to these guys it's the Protestant reformation, which is entirely possible. The nations of northern Europe(that quickly converted to Protestantism) promoted religious tolerance and social equality. Prussia under Frederick the Great may be one of the best examples. The modernization of Prussia he oversaw virtually killed serfdom and promoted plutocracy. The Dutch republic or "United Provinces" is also a prime example. On gaining independence the Dutch basically set the reformation as its foundations. Along with promoting Christian humanist ideals the state general(their president) ordered the Bible to be translated into a language every person could read as it was restricted to Latin and Greek - and it was a punishable offence for a commoner to read or translate the Bible under Catholicism.