Athenian Democracy Essay examples

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Today, much of the world’s governments have converted to democracies. In the Ancient World, there was only one truly notable example of a democratic society: The City-State of Athens. This is actually the birthplace of democracy, where instead of the rich or powerful ruling, it was the citizens of the city-state that held the power. This advanced way of government was so effective and well structured, it even laid the foundations for the development of our own democracy, right here in the United States, over 2,000 years in the future. Prior to Athens’s collapse during the Peloponnesian War, it truly had an efficient and very organized system of government. Democracy in Athens can be traced back to 594 B.C.E, when Solon was given the …show more content…
Cleisthenes then introduced his own reforms for Athens. He gave more power to the Assembly of Athens and less power to the aristocrats. He then divided all of Attica into ten tribes, which were called phylai. Each tribe in turn was given three pieces of land, which each contained many little villages called demes. The demes all together would then participate in the government by voting for people to make up the Council. The chain of command for the government of Athens was pretty straightforward. At the very top was the strategoi, the military commanders. There were ten of these, one strategos voted for each tribe. They each served for one year, however unlike the other officials, the strategoi could be reelected to their positions an unlimited number of times. “This is based on the wisdom that frequently overhauling military leadership during a war or other national emergency can prove dangerous or even disastrous” (Nardo 46). One prominent example of this was Pericles, who was extremely popular and was reelected over twenty times before his death. The duty of the strategoi was to carry out orders given by the Council and Assembly. They also regularly carried out foreign policy initiatives. Next was the ruling group, also known as the prytany. The prytany provided individuals who were available at all times in case a crisis broke out and needed attention (Ancient Civilizations 26). After them was the
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