A distinctive trend developed in 19th and 20th century Europe, which saw the universalisation of principles of state political systems. This tendency expressed itself in proclaiming in the constitutions of individual states and in the practical application by European democracies of the political principles inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment. Over a period of over two centuries, the constitutions of many countries developed with a similar catalogue of principles of government, in a similar legal form. These principles express the same ideas and political values and aim at developing an identical model of government structure based on liberal-democratic ideals. It is characteristic that during the last decade of the 20th century there was a sudden increase in this tendency and the spreading of those principles to over twenty countries.