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Democracy in Ancient Greece

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Democracy in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greeks were the first to come up with the idea of a government ruled by the people, and throughout history societies evolved along with democracy to fit their needs. Although it was not perfect, the ancient Greeks set the foundations for the government we have today. If we were to look at Geek democracy using our point of view and taking our needs into consideration, their government system would seem flawed. But if you view it in the context of its own time in history, it was a tremendous triumph.

In ancient Greece, a new idea of a Government whose power was vested in the people was created [Ancient Greek Democracy document]. This type of government is what we now know as a democratic government. They developed a voting system, which consisted of placing a certain color of rock into a pot to vote “yes” and another color to vote “no,” or by scratching a name on a shard of pottery [Visual Source 1]. During that time period, this was not very common; most governments at the time were monarchies, meaning one person ruled them. Although our government voting system is more complex today, it still uses the foundations set by the Greeks.

The rank you had in the social caste system could determine how much power you had in the government. The wealthier and higher up you were in the hierarchy the more say you had in the government [Visual Source 2]. It was wise because the wealthy had more years of education than the average citizen. Therefore they had more knowledge, allowing them to make smarter decisions for the people as a whole. Even though we do this unconsciously, we still use the concept of wealthier people having a higher status in society and the government.

The Democratic Government today would not have been possible had the Ancient Greeks not created the foundations for it. While society has evolved, so has the democratic system to fit our necessities. Not only were they one of the most sophisticated civilizations to exist, but they were also looked up by many during their time in history [Written Source 1]. Looking at their government from our point of view might make it look flawed, but the Greeks were actually quite advanced for their time. They were able to create a government where the people had a say and were very successful in doing so.

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