Ancient athens democracy

These groups had to meet secretly because although there was freedom of speech, persistent criticism of individuals and institutions could lead to accusations of conspiring tyranny and so lead to ostracism.

They might be even more aghast that people actually vote on those bills without doing the reading.

characteristics of athenian democracy

In the 5th century BC, principally as seen through the figure of Periclesthe generals could be among the most powerful people in the polis. There was also a tendency for the four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month.

athenian democracy timeline

In this: A new law might be proposed by any citizen. This money was only to cover expenses though, as any attempt to profit from public positions was severely punished.

was athens a true democracy

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.

Anything higher had to go before a court.

Athenian democracy vs american democracy

Allotment, therefore, was seen as a means to prevent the corrupt purchase of votes and it gave citizens political equality, as all had an equal chance of obtaining government office. In this case, simply by demographic necessity, an individual could serve twice in a lifetime. Aristotle also wrote about what he considered to be a better form of government than democracy. In the words of historian K. In the 6th prytany, there was discussion of whether or not to hold an ostracism, discussion of any information against people charged with being informers—in this category, no more than three citizens and three resident foreigners—and discussion of people accused of failing to perform some assigned public service Aristot. It reached its peak between and BC, when Athens was undeniably the master of the Greek world. This is the position set out by the anti-democratic pamphlet known whose anonymous author is often called the Old Oligarch. What mattered was whether or not the unusual system was any good.

Only about 5, men attended each session of the Assembly; the rest were serving in the army or navy or working to support their families.

They want representative democracy to be added to or even replaced by direct democracy in the Athenian way, perhaps by utilizing electronic democracy.

In the 5th century at least, there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. Ideals such as these would form the cornerstones of all democracies in the modern world. That is to say, the mass meeting of all citizens lost some ground to gatherings of a thousand or so which were under oath, and with more time to focus on just one matter though never more than a day.

Some were monarchies, such as Macedonia in the north, and some were oligarchies or even constitutional governments.

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Democracy in Ancient Athens and Democracy Today