Oligarchy Style Of Government Essay

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The form of government chosen by each city-state in Greece played a large role in the character and treatment of its citizens, as well as their treatment of other city-states. The oligarchy style of government used in Sparta and the democracy style of government used in Athens both have strengths and weaknesses that helped form the culture of each of these two city-states. The Spartans chose an oligarchy style of government that was ruled by a small group of men called the Council of Elders. This council was comprised of 28 men over the age of sixty. They were typically the wealthier and more influential men in Sparta and, once elected to the council, they served for life. The Greek historian and author Plutarch wrote about Lycurgus, the man who was instrumental in forming the senate, called the Council of Elders, in Sparta. Plutarch wrote that Lycurgus believed this council of 28 men leaned toward a monarchy and …show more content…
Robert Strayer, “Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources,” (St. Martin’s, 2013). of this style of government compared it to mob rule because they did not think common people could make important decisions for a city-state. Plato believed common people were not intelligent enough to make these types of big decisions because they had been elected for their persuasive speech rather than for their wisdom. He believed democracy would eventually fall into anarchy and clear the way to tyranny. The leadership of the democratic government in Athens, “was generally dominated formally or informally by small aristocratic elite, who belonged to wealthy families.”3 The Persian war changed this and helped to develop and transform the democratic government. Men from the lower class obtained citizenship rights by fighting in the military for Athens and thus obtained the right to participate fully in the democratic style government. This act changed a weakness to a strength as people from all classes were now being

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