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Paige W

BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: The Democratic Experiment - 1 views

  • Take politics for example: apart from the word itself (from polis, meaning city-state or community) many of the other basic political terms in our everyday vocabulary are borrowed from the ancient Greeks: monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and - of course - democracy.
  • demokratia
  • It meant literally 'people-power'
  • ...69 more annotations...
  • The Greek word demos could mean either
  • Was it all the people
  • Or only some of the people
  • There's a theory that the word demokratia was coined by democracy's enemies, members of the rich and aristocratic elite who did not like being outvoted by the common herd, their social and economic inferiors.
  • By the time of Aristotle (fourth century BC) there were hundreds of Greek democracies. Greece in those times was not a single political entity but rather a collection of some 1,500 separate poleis or 'cities' scattered round the Mediterranean and Black Sea shores 'like frogs around a pond', as Plato once charmingly put it.
  • cities that were not democracies
  • power was in the hands of the few richest citizens
  • monarchies, called 'tyrannies' in cases where the sole ruler had usurped power by force rather than inheritanc
  • most stable,
  • most long-lived,
  • most radical, was Athens.
  • origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon,
  • flourished
  • 600 BC.
  • was a poet and a wise statesman
  • but not - contrary to later myth - a democrat.
  • Solon's constitutional reform package that laid the basis on which democracy could be pioneered
  • Cleisthenes was the son of an Athenian, but the grandson and namesake of a foreign Greek tyrant
  • also the brother-in-law of the Athenian tyrant, Peisistratus,
  • eized power three times
  • before finally establishing a stable and apparently benevolent dictatorship.
    • Paige W
       
      Interesting insight on the beginning of democracy.
  • nder this political system that Athens successfully resisted the Persian onslaughts of 490 and 480/79
  • victory in turn encouraged the poorest Athenians to demand a greater say in the running of their city
  • Ephialtes and Pericles presided over a radicalisation of power that shifted the balance decisively to the poorest sections of society
  • he democratic Athens that won and lost an empire,
  • built the Parthenon,
  • eschylus, Sophocles,
  • Euripides and Aristophanes
  • laid the foundations of western rational and critical thought
  • was not, of course, without internal critics
  • when Athens had been weakened by the catastrophic Peloponnesian War (431-404) these critics got their chance
  • n 411 and again in 404 Athenian oligarchs led counter-revolutions that replaced democracy with extreme oligarchy
  • oligarchs were supported by Athens's old enemy, Sparta
  • mpossible to maintain themselves in power
  • democracy was restored
  • 'blips' such as the trial of Socrates - the restored Athenian democracy flourished stably and effectively for another 80 years
  • There were no proper population censuses in ancient Athens,
  • total population of fifth-century Athens, including its home territory of Attica, at around 250,000 - men, women and children, free and unfree, enfranchised and disenfranchised. Of those
  • 250,000 some 30,000 on average were fully paid-up citizens -
  • adult males of Athenian birth and full status
  • second key difference is the level of participation.
  • representative
  • we choose politicians to rule for us
  • Athenian
  • democracy
  • was direct
  • and in-your-face.
  • most officials and all jurymen were selected by lot.
  • This was thought to be the democratic way, since election favoured the rich, famous and powerful over the ordinary citizen.
  • mid fifth century, office holders, jurymen, members of the city's main administrative Council of 500, and even Assembly attenders were paid a small sum from public funds to compensate them for time spent on political service away from field or workshop.
  • eligibility
  • adult male citizens need apply for the privileges and duties of democratic government, and a birth criterion of double descent - from an Athenian mother as well as father -
  • Athenian democracy did not happen only in the Assembly and Council. The courts were also essentially political spaces, located symbolically right at the centre of the city.
  • defined the democratic citizen as the man 'who has a share in (legal) judgment and office'.
  • Athenian drama,
  • was a fundamentally political activity as well,
  • One distinctively Athenian democratic practice that aroused the special ire of the system's critics was the practice of ostracism -
  • potsherd
  • rom the Greek word for
  • decide which leading politician should be exiled for ten years
  • on a piece of broken pottery.
  • voters scratched or painted the name of their preferred candidate
  • 6,000 citizens had to 'vote' for an ostracism to be valid,
  • biggest
  • political
  • risked being fried
  • For almost 100 years ostracism fulfilled its function of aborting serious civil unrest or even civil war
  • Power to the people, all the people, especially the poor majority, remained the guiding principle of Athenian democracy.
  •  
    About of Greek Democracy
Garth Holman

World History Chapter 8 "Ancient Greece" 2000 - 500 BC Section 1 "Geography a... - 3 views

    • Garth Holman
       
      Note how far the Greek people traveled and created colonies.  How did they do this?  What did they need to do this? 
    • Garth Holman
       
      Democracy: What does it mean?  What is  Aristocrats?   What is a tyrant?   What is an Oligarchy? 
    • Garth Holman
       
      Who is Draco?  What did he do?  What do you think it means when we say today draconian Laws?  
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    • Garth Holman
       
      What was the Athenian Assembly?  Who were citizens of Athens?  
  •  
    Greece and democracy
jdanielpour j

The Development of Athenian Democracy - 0 views

  • Isagoras, using the example of recent history, called on the Spartan king Cleomenes
  • So, where formerly an Athenian man would have identified himself as “Demochares, son of Demosthenes
mluxenburg m

Athenian democracy - 1 views

  • Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 508 BC. Athens was one of the first known democracies.
  • It remains a unique and intriguing experiment in direct democracy where the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right.
  • Solon (594 BC), Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (462 BC) all contributed to the development of Athenian democracy.
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  • It is most usual to date Athenian democracy from Cleisthenes, since Solon's constitution fell and was replaced by the tyranny of Peisistratus, whereas Ephialtes revised Cleisthenes' constitution relatively peacefully. Hipparchus, Hippias, was killed by
  • Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who were subsequently honored by the Athenians for their alleged restoration of Athenian freedom
  • The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader was Pericles; after his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolution
  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Participation and exclusion 2.1 Size and make-up of the Athenian population 2.2 Citizenship in Athens 3 Main bodies of governance 3.1 Assembly
Ivy V

Athenian democracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 9 views

  • Athens is one of the first known democracies.
  • It remains a unique and intriguing experiment in direct democracy where the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no means open
  • of Athenian freedom. The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader
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  • Estimates of the population of ancient Athens vary. During the 4th century BC, there may well have been some 250,000–300,000 people in Attica. Citizen families may have amounted to 100,000 people and out of these some 30,000 will have been the adult male citizens entitled to vote in the assembly. In the mid-5th century the number of adult male citizens was perhaps as high as 60,000, but this number fell precipitously during the Peloponnesian War.
    • ed h
       
      Population matters to direct democracy
    • arman b
       
      what if the greek didn't have many people?
    • erick j
       
      If Greeks didn't have as many people, they would get more work done.
  • There were three political bodies where citizens gathered in numbers running into the hundreds or thousands. These are the assembly (in some cases with a quorum of 6000), the council of 500 (boule) and the courts (a minimum of 200 people, but running at least on some occasions up to 6000). Of these three bodies it is the assembly and the courts that were the true sites of power — although courts, unlike the assembly, were never simply called the demos (the People) as they were manned by a subset of the citizen body, those over thirty.
    • erick j
       
      Did wealth matter to your position in government?
    • Mike Pennington
       
      Yes, wealth played a direct role in just how much power you had in ancient Greece. The Patricians, or wealthy, had slightly more power in making decisions and passing laws.
    • glever g
       
      Why did wealth affect anything?
  • Only adult male Athenian citizens who had completed their military training as ephebes had the right to vote in Athens. The percentage of the population (of males) that actually participated in the government was about 20%. This excluded a majority of the population, namely slaves, freed slaves, children, women and metics. The women had limited rights and privileges and were not really considered citizens. The restricted movement in public and were very segregated from the men. Also disallowed were citizens whose rights were under suspension (typically for failure to pay a debt to the city: see atimia); for some Athenians this amounted to permanent (and in fact inheritable) disqualification. Still, in contrast with oligarchical societies, there were no real property requirements limiting access
    • molly c
       
      It is interesting to learn that Athenian men had to serve in the military.
    • glever g
       
      Not really if you were in that position then you would think that that would be sensible.
  • The central events of the Athenian democracy were the meetings of the assembly (ἐκκλησία ekklêsia). Unlike a parliament, the assembly's members were not elected, but attended by right when they chose. Greek democracy created at Athens was a direct, not a representative democracy: any adult male citizen of age could take part, and it was a duty to do so. The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in large part chosen by lot. The assembly had four main functions; it made executive pronouncements (decrees, such as deciding to go to war or granting citizenship to a foreigner); it elected some officials; it legislated; and it tried political crimes. As the system evolved these last two functions were shifted to the law courts. 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. Though there might be blocs of opinion, sometimes enduring, on crucial issues, there were no political parties and likewise no government or opposition (as in the Westminster system). Voting was by simple majority. In the 5th century at least there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. If the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to
    • Garth Holman
       
      Here is some great information about the Assembly of ancient Athens
    • Mike Pennington
       
      Yes Matt, the Athenian government eventually fell during the Peloponnesian Wars. It was weakened by the Persian Wars, but as soon as Sparta truly set it's sights on defeating the every-expanding Athenians they were in danger. The war itself indirectly led to the fall of Athens, during the second and third years of fighting, disease broke out in Athens and devastated the population. It took Sparta and its allies nearly 30 years to destroy the city of Athens. The Spartans also used the help of the Persians.
  •  
    Did the government ever fall or come close to falling?
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