The Importance Of Citizenship

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Citizenship - the key to a better life. Citizenship determines ours rights and provides protection. Whether it is in the past or the present we continually rely on citizenship, how we acquire citizenship should not matter. The importance of citizenship is that it provides a sense of belonging and security. Throughout this paper we will look at how citizenship has changed from the past to the present and how the issue of exclusion still exists today.
In the article, “Citizenship and Gender in the Ancient World: The Experience of Athens and Rome” by Cynthia Patterson, we explore the antiquity of citizenship in Athens and Rome. In Athens if you were not born of two citizen parents then you were not granted a share in the polis (Patterson, 49).
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The second criteria is that citizenship allows for rewards such as a share in public distribution and the third characteristic is that citizenship acknowledges the individual as a family member among a “super-family” (Patterson, 58). Also, the astos included civil rights only, whereas the politai had full political citizenship. Astoi was used to explain the communal sense of citizenship like a relative within the family, while politai was used to explain the relationship between a citizen and the state (CITE). In Rome, the right of marriage and commerce was a privilege for the citizens, however the right of voting was only for men. Essentially the citizen status protected private law of persons and property …show more content…
This also occurred in democracies and dictatorship states. The Nazi discriminating and depriving the Jews of their rights is a prime example of exclusion. Every person is supposed to be entitled to the rights of man. Those deprived of their rights committed criminal offenses because it was the best opportunity to regain some rights (Arendt, 286). Arendt argues that in order to have specific rights you must have the rights to have rights, meaning that we are entitled to our basic human rights however our actions and opinions determines our rights to have specific rights. As Edmund Burke said, “we are not born equal; we become equal as members of a group on the strength of our decisions to guarantee ourselves mutually equal rights (Arendt, 301).” Therefore, the idea of rights of man or human rights is meaningless unless you belong to a political community where you are seen and treated as an equal. Due to the fact that human rights are not enforced in modern citizenship regimes is why people are being deprived of their rights and being categorized as stateless or minorities because they are seen as being ‘different’ and as a result not included in the political

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