Democracy in Greece and its Citizenship Essay

Democracy in Greece and its Citizenship Essay

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Question: How did the Greeks start a democracy and make it evolve? How was the citizenship in Greece, was it equal?
Ancient Greece was separated into different city-states because of the high mountain ranges in the Peloponnese and northern Greece. One of the biggest changes to Greek life in Athens was the emergence of democracy, or rule by the people. Citizens of Greek cities overthrew their tyrants and set up governments ruled by citizens. Although citizens could speak and vote in democracy, women, slaves, and those born outside the city were excluded. This essay will explain how the Athenians moved toward democracy. It will explain how, unlike before, citizens of Athens participated directly in political decision making. Athens build a democracy with the help of many important men such as Solon and Cleisthenes. The laws of citizenship in Athens was always evolving.
When a young aristocrat named Kylon failed while trying to seize power and declare himself tyrant, his attempt made the Athenians recognize the stresses in Athens’ society. Peasants were oppressively poor and deeply in debt to the wealthy nobles. Common folk were growing impatient with aristocratic rule. The eupatridae, or best people, ordered the archon, or ruler, to change the laws. (Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 2)
The archon was Solon, and he instituted many reforms. He canceled debts and used state funds to buy back Athenians who had been sold into slavery because of their debts. He also introduced a new constitution. Solon’s explanation for his actions are, "the laws I passed were alike for low-born and for high-born; my aim was straightforward justice for each." (Encyclopedia of World Biography) It gave all free men, even those who did not own land, the right to v...


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...rary. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

"Draco's Code Issued, 621 b.c.e."
Historic World Events. Detroit: Gale, 2014. World History In Context. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

"Greek mythology."
Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

"Greece, History of."
Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 111-128. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
"Solon ((?)-)."
Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
"Cleisthenes ((?)-)."
Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
"Citizenship."
Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 134-136. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.


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