Disadvantages Of Athenian Democracy

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The city of Athens was self-consciously and decidedly democratic, autonomous, and prosperous. Athenian democracy is the paradigm of civic freedom in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them. The “rule of the people”. A government by the people and for the people. In a very real sense, the people of Athens governed themselves, debating and voting individually on issues of varying importance. Democracy in Athens was not merely limited to giving people the right to vote. However, an in-depth look into Athenian democracy exhibits limitations within the system meant to provide power to the people. For you see, not everyone in Athens reaped the full benefit of the city’s democratic system. Only citizens, …show more content…
The democratic government of Athens rested on three main institutions, and a few others of lesser importance (i.e. The Areopagus). The institutions were the Assembly, the Council of Five Hundred, and the People’s Court. Citizens gathered in numbers running into the hundreds and even thousands at these institutions. These three main institutions illustrate exactly how Athenian democracy functioned in everyday …show more content…
In the article, “Public Speech and the Power of the People in Democratic Athens” by Josaih Ober, the following is stated “classical Athens provides a particularly well-documented historical example of a dynamically stable democratic culture in which a large and socially diverse citizenry directly ruled a complex society that was much too large for a politics of ‘face-to-face’ personal interaction.” Indeed for those lucky few who were citizens, there was a substantial degree of political equality. Additionally, Ober goes on to state “If we take democracy to mean what ancient Greeks took it to mean – ‘political power wielded actively and collectively by the demos’ (i.e, all residents of the state who are culturally defined as potential citizens, regardless of their class or status) – then Athens was a democracy”. To this, I can only agree to in part. For you see, I cannot simply disregard a people that make up the majority of a city and whose role in society can be argued as fundamental in order for democracy to

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