Athenian Democracy Essay

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Democracy is rule by the constituents of a domain, but beyond that core principle, its interpretations varied wildly. Most notably, many of the concepts behind the original democracy that existed in Athens are unable to cover the system that directs the United States today, for two key reasons: population and distance. In the Athenian system of democracy, such a high emphasis was placed on individuals taking action in politics in a central location, that the entire system would fail under the strain that over 235 million (1) eligible participants, spread out over 3.806 million square miles. This is why Democratic Republics are common and effective today, especially in large countries.

A historically novel idea, by definition, Democracy is:
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However, the key difference between the Athenian and American systems of democracy is the inclusion republican principles: a buffer layer between the people and the highest tiers of government. Instead of eligible voters congregating to directly decide laws, voters elect representatives to congresses and cabinets, who then serve on terms. Even the President is elected through buffer, with the electoral college a vestige from the country 's founding. From these elected officials, bills become laws, policy is made and executed, and taxes are levied, all…show more content…
Athenian democracy could not succeed in America for these two reasons. Firstly, the size of the populace. Athenian democracy requires and incentivises political participation in a central congress, which is effective in the smaller numbers present in Athens. In the United States, the number of eligible voters per district is considerably larger, which would place strain on the decision making process and the efficiency of the system. Large numbers of people would be difficult to coordinate and direct towards a decision. Athenian democracy also relies on persons congregating together, a formidable task for a large country. The population in the United States is spread out over many miles, thousands of times larger in landmass than the city state of Athens. Organising mass transportation would be a statistical nightmare, and productivity would grind to a halt. These issues with the Athenian system promote the principles of a republic, as a smaller group of elected officials can gather with more ease, direct and be directed, and successfully manage a complex
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