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Sparta Vs Athens

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Sparta Vs Athens

In Ancient Greece there were two different major forms of government,

Oligarchy and Democracy. The two city-states that best represent each

form of government were Sparta (oligarchy) and Athens (democracy). The

democratic government in Athens, though de cently equal, fair and fairly

advanced for its time, did not meet the needs of the Greeks. During a

time of many military battles Athens decided to worry more about comfort

and culture. It is the oligarchy in Sparta that put a war-like attitude

as it's first priority and best met the needs of Ancient Greece.

The Athenian democratic government, which may have given the citizens in

Greece more freedom, was not the best form of government at the time. The

democracy in Athens cannot really be called a true democracy since there

were several flaws in the governme nt and the way it worked. Only ten per

cent of the total population of Athens actually had voting rights and all

of these citizens were upper class men who were over thirty years old.

Women, no matter what the class or age, were given no freedom at all.

They were first owned by their fathers and then were passed from them to

their husbands who then gave them nothing more than the responsibilities

of managing the household and educating the children. During a meeting of

the Assembly, a policy could be adopted and formed into a law but once the

meeting of the assembly ended, the enforcement of that law was left in the

hands of people who may not agree with that specific law. Also, a rule of

the Assembly said that if a certa! in speaker became too powerful, he

could be expelled from the country if given a majority vote by the

Assembly. This rule could easily be abused and really infringed on the

freedom of speech that most democracies have. The Assembly was made up of

five hundred men who were chosen from a list of those who were eligible to

serve on the council. Since most of the population was of a lower

economic class, the time taken away from their normal work by serving on

the Assembly lowered their earning potential , causing their already poor

situation to worsen. Life may have been sophisticated and graceful in

Athens but the Athenians were often mocked by opposing countries and other

city-states for having no bravery, patriotism or courage. This was shown

by the repeated attacks on Athens. If the Athenians had a more war-like
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