this is a short two page essay comparing greek democracy to american democracy. it shows how they have very little similarities.

Essay by babeebunsUniversity, Bachelor'sB, December 2002

download word file, 2 pages 4.4 1 reviews

Downloaded 136 times

Ancient democracy to present democracy

The word democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, which means people, and kratos, which means rule. Today the word has come to mean exactly that, ruled by the people. Many ancient political Greek philosophers would use the phrase "the governors are to be governed" which we can relate to today. Even though the Greek's notion of democracy is dramatically different from our current democracy, it has been one of the most influential philosophies that have shaped the political thought of the United States. Ironically the term democracy is the most used term to describe the American government even though it has little meaning in our government today.

The Athenian government was the first democracy known to the world. Athens had a government where all of the citizens took part in the decision making. Thus, everyone who qualified as a citizen could participate and did not have to be an elected representative.

For one to be considered a citizen they first had to be born in Athens and had to be free. Next, once turned eighteen years of age he had to have at least two years of military training then serve in the navy or army. After he has served he could then vote. After the age of thirty he could be considered for council. The women of Athens were also considered to be citizen however they did not posses any political power. The Athenian democracy had three main branches which were the assembly, the council, and the jurymen. The assembly had the reasonability of making the policies for Athens. The assembly could be considered the legislative branch and it was made of eligible Athenian citizens. The council enforced administrative matters and the policies. They were also in control of the military...