Athenian Democracy 2

Topics: Democracy, Athenian democracy, Classical Athens Pages: 3 (792 words) Published: March 18, 2012
I always believed that it's hilarious how someone can start something and another individual can take it and turn it totally into something better. I noticed this humorous tidbit when I compared Athenian democracy and American democracy. Now although many may in fact say that the American democracy is the best, many do not know that America government is a derivative from Athens very own government. The city-state of Athens and surrounding territory of Attica was the first government to have a true democracy. Although America did derive its government from Athens, Athens is not a representative democracy , it is a direct democracy. The set up of Athenian democracy and American democracy are the same in some cases, they also differ in many. For Athenians “democracy” means give rule to the village or in other words give rule to the citizens in the community. Much like the phrase that begins the constitution “We the people”, Athenians believed that citizens in Athens deserved the right to rule. In Athenian democracy the people were to choose every single law to be passed. If they wanted raise taxes, build a navy, or to fight the Spartans, the people would decide. Solon , Cleisthenes , and Ephialtes all contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Historians differ on which of them was responsible for which institution, and which of them most represented a truly democratic movement. Usually, Cleisthenes is accredited for Athenian democracy because Solon's constitution fell to tyranny and Ephialtes just brought back Cleisthenes government. The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader though, was Pericles and after his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly stopped by oligarchic revolution towards the end of the Peloponnesian War. One thing that American government has in common with Athenian government is the branches. America has the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branch where the Athenians had the Assembly, the Council, and the...
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