The Athenian Constitution Using the book by the same name by Aristotle, this is a general paper summarizing(for the most part) the development of the constitution adopted by the ancient Greeks.

Essay by ScarabdracUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2005

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Through a succession of so called "champions" the Athenian constitution developed into a system of government that represented the people and that the people could hold accountable. This was brought about by dispersing the tribes, the creation of a representative government, and limiting the abilities of the top governing officials. All of these factors resulted in a model of government similar to those used by many nations today.

An important part of the constitution's development was the geographic dispersal of the tribes. Chapter 21 of The Athenian Constitution discusses how Cleisthenes divided the territory between the people. He wished to mix up his people. He began to do so by splitting the 4 tribes into 10 tribes. Then he partitioned the land up into 30 sections, or demes, and assigned 3 of these areas to the each of the 10 tribes in such a manner that he sufficiently mixed the people geographically and equally shared various regions (Aristotle, 64).

This not only seems fairer, as no tribe was favored with the coast or majority of fertile land for instance, but it allowed the tribes to have a common ground since the issues faced by some demes of a given tribe is likely to coincide with the issues of specific demes of another tribe. If the tribes were to have been geographically consolidated, tribes of different regions would likely have competed in the council for incompatible solutions to unrelated problems, since the people represented by different tribes would have had different needs. Cleisthenes' method of equally distributing the various regions of Athens amongst the 10 tribes facilitated the development of a governing body made up of several tribes that understood the needs of all the people of Athens better.

Possibly the most recognizable characteristic of democracy is civilian representation in the...