The Athenian Democracy : A Contemporary American

1942 Words Oct 20th, 2014 8 Pages
The Athenian democracy is discomforting for a contemporary American because of the personal rights citizens obtain today that Athenians do not, and because of the lack of greek legitimacy in their political system, due to rationality. However, the life of an Athenian is quiet interesting, in the way it allows us to view the positive and negative elements of the Athenian society, in contrast of today 's culture, from how it runs, how they studied Greek politics, their perspective of what a citizen should be and its responsibilities, and their acts of rationality. The Athenians operated their politics in a forthright and aggressive manner. Their political system was established by office holders, jurymen, members of Athenian 's Admin council and attendees, which were people who showed up to vote. Of these participants, they "were paid a small sum from public funds to compensate them for time spent on political service" (Cartledge, "The Democratic Experiment."). However, most of these participants had zero choice whether they participated or not because "6,000 citizens were selected to fill the annual panel of potential jurymen who would staff the popular jury" and the rest were also selected by lot, few elected.(Cartledge, "The Democratic Experiment.") To them, " The set of offices by which a polis was governed, and the laws specifying their relation, are the constitution"(Minogue 15). The Athenians and office holders look to their constitution of rules and demands when…
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