Greece : The Birth Place Of Democracy

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Unit 2: HIST 1421 Written Assignment

Although Greece is the birth place of Democracy, Greece was not always a democratic country. In many parts of Greece other forms of government ruled. For instance, in Sparta, the government was an oligarchy; and in Athens before democracy, they were an aristocracy. When leaders took over land and their word became law, it was considered a tyranny. Many places ran by a royal family or bloodline were considered monarchy.
A monarchy by definition is a form of government with a monarch at the head. This means that it is “a state or nation in which the supreme power is actually or nominally lodge in a monarch. A supreme authority is vested in a single and usually hereditary figure, such as a king or queen,
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In last week 's reading material we learned that in Athens the government was practically ruled by the aristocrats even though Solon tried to reform the government. Even during Cleisthenes 's reform, the aristocrats still had the money and influence to control the government.
This brings us to the next form of government referred to as an aristocracy. By c. 700 B.C. It was aristocracy that was rule, not monarchies of the earliest poleis. (The British Museum, n.d.) Aristocracy is defined as “a class of persons holding exceptional rank and privileges, especially the hereditary nobility. A government or state ruled by the elite or privileged upper class, usually the rich.” (Dictionary, n.d.) Around c. 600 B.C. In Athens, Solon converted the previous government into four classes and established the aristocracy before Cleisthenes reformed the government into a democracy around c. 500 B.C. (Joshi, 2010)
Ancient Greece and specifically Athens is the birth place of the democracy that we know today. Cleisthenes reformed the previous aristocracy into a democracy. Democracy is a form of government simply defined as “a government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” (Dictionary, n.d.) It all started in the polis of Athens. Democracy allowed Athenians to attend and speak at assembly if you were a citizen; which during Ancient Greece did not include
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