Athens and Sparta were two of the most powerful and well known cities among all the Greek nations. Most would find it easier to find more similarities among these two groups of mighty people. But there are some differences between these two power houses. For instance the way that these cities were governed and their political procedures and functions were quite different from each other.
One major difference between the two cities was the way in which their king or leaders were chosen. The process in which Athens elected their leader is referred to as limited democracy. It was limited democracy because not all the people in the city state were allowed to participate in the election process. As a matter of fact, over the years Athens operated under a combination of different forms of government. Some of these forms of government included Democracy and Aristocracy.
Aristocracy was the form of government that was established when the aristocrats or more wealthy people of Athens were the ones in charge. Their wealth is what gave them their power and authority to rule over the growing city. Nine officials also known as Archons at some point were elected by an assembly of all men citizens of Athens. This assembly of male voters was known as the Ecclesia. The Archons would serve for one year at a time. After holding that position for a full year, those nine men would become members of a council that were the ultimate authority in the Athenian government. This council of wealthy senior men eventually numbered to about 300 people. This form of government eventually fell because the council of wealthy men could not handle the economic changes that were occurring. Because of the drastic economic changes and social crisis, people started falling into serious debt and some even went as far as selling themselves into slavery for food. This was indeed a turning point for the Athenian government.... [continues]
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