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Privacy Democracy in Ancient Athens Athens had a direct democracy. That means the citizens of Athens voted directly on laws. Since Greeks invented democracy, they also invented the name for it.
Democracy means government by the people.
A constitution is a written document that describes the powers and limitations of a government. Before Cleisthenes, Athens was ruled by a few wealthy landowners.
This is called an oligarchy rule by the few.
Cleisthenes transferred the power of the government from the wealthy landowners to the citizens of Athens. The catch was, not everyone that lived in Athens was considered to be a citizen. To be a citizen, you had to be: During the time of democracy in Athens, the city was home to aboutpeople.
Not quite fair is it? It is not fair, but under the old oligarchy system, only male Athenians that owned land had a say in the government. Even though only a small portion of Athenians had a say under the democratic system, those that did each had one vote, regardless of wealth.
If you were lucky enough to be a citizen in ancient Athens during the time of democracy, voting was quite different than in modern democracies.
Usually, you had to gather with all the other citizens to cast your vote. Sometimes voting was done by written ballot. Other times, the crowd just divided into groups. Everybody voting "yes" go to the right, everybody voting "no" go to the left. Every citizen was expected to show up for these gatherings unless they were away on military service.
Failure to do so was discraceful. As you can imagine, a city the size of Athens would require meeting everyday to keep it running. It would not make sense to have all the citizens drop what they were doing each day to meet and discuss daily business.
To solve this problem, Athens had the Council of The Council of was a group of citizens chosen by lottery to handle the day-to-day business of the city.
Once a citizen served on the council, he could never serve again.Democracy Then and Now Democracy in ancient Athens and what we call democracy today. It quickly made Athens into the most powerful Greek city-state, but it also fatally undermined the traditional Greek rules of warfare.
Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory. Josiah Ober. Princeton University Press, The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory 3/5(1). This essay seeks to evaluate the full extent of democracy in Periclean Athens by studying its restrictive citizen-body, its institutions based on the direct, democratic participation of citizens and its political ideology founded on the ideals of equality and liberty.
In Ancient Sparta they had an oligarchy form of government in which the state was ruled by a small group of citizens who also controlled the military. The political system of ancient Athens was a democracy, which involved all of its citizens by giving them daily access to civic affairs and political power.
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Introduction to Athenian Democracy of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE John A. Rothchild∗ Abstract: This essay serves to introduce students to the institutions of the democratic constitution of ancient Athens, during its flowering in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE.