Rise of Democratic Ideas

Topics: Feudalism, Democracy, Ancient Rome Pages: 2 (739 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Ancient Athens, Greece was a direct democracy. It began in 461 B.C. and ended in 338 B.C. Ancient Athens defined their citizens as any male who is 18 years old or older, and has citizen parents. Like Ancient Rome, Athens had separate branches of government which helped them organize and maintain society. Pericles, an influential statesman, contributed a lot to the history and legacy of Ancient Athens. He helped rebuild Athens after the Persian Wars. He also contributed greatly by promoting the idea of a direct democracy. Athens had an organization of government by the Council of 500. It was an idea contributed by Cleisthenes. The Council of 500 helped carry out the everyday work of the assembly. Citizens of Athens did everything and made decisions based on reason. Athenian democracy contributed to the rise of democratic ideas because Athenians were the first ones to develop the 3 separate branches of government (executive, judicial, legislative). It was a big contribution because our government today consists of three separate branches also.

Ancient Rome, located in Italy, is an indirect or representative democracy. They had a different way of organizing and controlling/ maintaining society. The laws were voted upon and the elected representatives make decisions on their behalf. The laws that are decided upon are then engraved and publicly displayed on the 12 tables. The 12 tables were tables publicly displayed in the city with laws engraved so that everyone could see them. The laws applied to every citizen; rich or poor. In Ancient Rome, in order to be a citizen, you had to be a free-born male. The two main classes of people were patricians and plebians. Patricians were the upper class people (nobles and land owners). Plebians were the lower class. Emperor Justinian was significant in the legacy of Ancient Rome because he contributed the code of laws. Rome was a huge factor in the rise of democratic ideas because it influenced us to write the laws down...
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