Essay On Ancient Greek Democracy

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Question: Compare and contrast monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy as forms of government in Ancient Greek city-states.

Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have a voice in the exercise of power, typically through elected representatives (Oxford Dictionary). Athens’ constitution is called a democracy because it allows the interests of all people in the system of government not just minority.

We have known that the democratic system of government is governed by the people so it has the most government officials chosen by lottery and served the people for a year.

It is noticed that from 390 BC, citizens who have been representatives of the people for participating
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At the same, any system which does not allow exercising of power from the whole citizen-body and was not a tyranny or monarchy was described as an oligarchy.

This was common throughout ancient Greece but oligarchies were championed by Spartans. It was described that Athens experienced an oligarchy during and after the Peloponnesian War. It was practiced in Corinth and Thebes. Hence, a few numbers of men from rich families were described to be controlling the state: most citizens couldn't participate in government.

Tyranny

Tyranny is regarded as a system of government in which the power is being taken from the predecessor in an unconstitutional manner which often leads to killing of the predecessor by a sole ruler called a tyrant. It has been described that Greek tyrants were not necessarily evil rulers; they simply looked after their own interests. In this system, power was achieved by force.

This is commonly of noble birth but often had support of the poor.

Tyranny is unlike a monarchy, power is not inherited. Hence, modern meaning of tyranny was not always a brutal and oppressive rule e.g. Pisistratus' rule in

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