Athenian democracy and present democracy

Greek democracy facts

Voting was by simple majority. Magistrates had only an administrative function and were laymen. They are on display at the Agora Museum, in Athens Greece. At times the imperialist democracy acted with extreme brutality, as in the decision to execute the entire male population of Melos and sell off its women and children simply for refusing to become subjects of Athens. If the Assembly voted in favor of the proposed change, the proposal would be referred for further consideration by a group of citizens called nomothetai literally "establishers of the law". The boule coordinated the activities of the various boards and magistrates that carried out the administrative functions of Athens and provided from its own membership randomly selected boards of ten responsible for areas ranging from naval affairs to religious observances. The standard format was that of speakers making speeches for and against a position, followed by a general vote usually by show of hands of yes or no. It was not anymore only one of the many possible ways in which political rule could be organised in a polity: it became the only possible political system in an egalitarian society. The proposal would be considered by the Council, and would be placed on the agenda of the Assembly in the form of a motion. All eyes turned to the Athenian experiment, and few liked what they saw. However, as Cornelius Castoriadis pointed out, other societies also kept slaves but did not develop democracy.

During that year, they were responsible for making new laws and for changing old laws as they saw fit. Jurors were required to be under oath, which was not required for attendance at the assembly.

characteristics of athenian democracy

Beneficiaries of Democracy Endorse It On the following pages, you'll find passages on democracy from some of the philosophers, orators, and historians of the time, many neutral to unfavorable. Running the courts was one of the major expenses of the Athenian state and there were moments of financial crisis in the 4th century when the courts, at least for private suits, had to be suspended.

Athens government facts

Read about the evidence Aeschines Aeschin. The oligarchy endured for only four months before it was replaced by a more democratic government. Democracy is the idea that the citizens of a country should take an active role in the government of their country and manage it directly or through elected representatives. They were mostly chosen by lot , with a much smaller and more prestigious group of about elected. Solon replaced the hereditary aristocracy with one based on wealth. Indeed, the extensive use of imported non-Greeks " barbarians " as chattel slaves seems to have been an Athenian development. In the 5th century at least, there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. A chairman for each tribe was chosen by lot each day, who was required to stay in the tholos for the next 24 hours, presiding over meetings of the Boule and Assembly. However, any member could demand that officials issue a recount. Around BC an individual is known with the name of Democrates, [2] a name possibly coined as a gesture of democratic loyalty; the name can also be found in Aeolian Temnus. Raaflaub, democracy in ancient Athens was a unique and truly revolutionary system that realized its basic principle to an unprecedented and quite extreme extent: no polis had ever dared to give all its citizens equal political rights, regardless of their descent, wealth, social standing, education, personal qualities, and any other factors that usually determined status in a community. Majority ruled. Notably, this was introduced more than fifty years before payment for attendance at assembly meetings. Thucydides the son of Milesias not the historian , an aristocrat, stood in opposition to these policies, for which he was ostracised in BC.

The members of these institutions were generally aristocrats. This expression encapsulated the right of citizens to take the initiative to stand to speak in the assembly, to initiate a public lawsuit that is, one held to affect the political community as a wholeto propose a law before the lawmakers, or to approach the council with suggestions.

Many Athenians prominent earlier in the century would have lost citizenship had this law applied to them: Cleisthenesthe founder of democracy, had a non-Athenian mother, and the mothers of Cimon and Themistocles were not Greek at all, but Thracian.

The United States of American has a representative democracy. At an Assembly held on the 11th day of the first prytany, the people voted on whether or not to hold an review of all the laws Dem. There was even a death penalty for "inadequate performance" while in office.

Additional meetings might still be called, especially as up until BC there were still political trials that were conducted in the assembly, rather than in court. This allowed Athens to practice the forms of democracy, though Rome ensured that the constitution strengthened the city's aristocracy.

Ancient Greek critics of Athenian democracy include Thucydides the general and historian, Aristophanes the playwright, Plato the pupil of Socrates, Aristotle the pupil of Plato, and a writer known as the Old Oligarch.

Part of the ethos of democracy, rather, was the building of general competence by ongoing involvement.

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Ancient Athens Democracy for Kids and Teachers