How Did Athens Change Athenian Government

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Athenian Government in 403 BCE Athens went through many changes in government structure, and eventually produced the most radical democracy of its time. The shape of the Athenian government in 403 BCE was especially important, because it changed from the oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants, established by Sparta after the Peloponnesian War to a radical democracy. The radical democracy was successful and remained the shape of the Athenian government for around a hundred years. Athenians went through many government structures on their trip to democracy. They started with a king in the 700s BCE, then switched to an oligarchy, then Solon came to power and made democratic reforms and finally Cleisthenes came to power. Cleisthenes transformed …show more content…
The first phase of the Peloponnesian War began in 431 BCE and ended ten years later in 421 BCE. It started because Athenians and Spartans disagreed on a lot. Athenians believed in democracy whereas Sparta had a monarchy. Also, they formed two military leagues, The Delian League(included Athens and other places) and the Peloponnesian League(included Sparta and other places). What finally caused the two disagreeing poleis to go to war was Athens banning Megara merchants. In 425 BCE Sparta was losing badly to Athens and sued for peace but Athens refused. In 424 BCE Athens began to lose the war. In 421 BCE the first part of the war ended with a treaty called the Peace of Nicias. Both Sparta and Athens had to give up the territory they gained. The second phase of the Peloponnesian War began when Athens sent soldiers to Sicil, and it lasted from 415 BCE-404 BCE. In 405 BCE Sparta destroyed the Athenian fleet. That caused Athens to come close to starvation and the Athenians surrendered in 404 BCE. After their surrender Sparta set up the oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants. The significance of the Peloponnesian War is it led to an oligarchy. Also, it showed the Athenians the issues with democracy's slow decision making. It made Athenians question whether democracy actually worked because the democracy lost to the monarchy. In addition, it was fresh in the Athenians minds when they decided what type of government they wanted after they overthrew the Thirty

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