Greek Oligarchy Government

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In a monarchy government, the power to make decisions is in the hands of one person, usually called a king or a queen. The word monarchy comes from the Greek root words monos (which means “one”) and arkhein (which means “rule”). From about 2000 B.C.E. to 800 B.C.E., most Greek city-states were ruled by monarchs—usually kings (the Greeks did not allow women to have power). At first, the Greek kings were chosen by the people of the city-state. When a king died, another leader was selected to take his place. Over time, however, kings demanded that, after their death, their power be passed on to their children—usually to the oldest son. This is how monarchy governments continued to operate, and it is how most monarchies remaining today operate. …show more content…
The word oligarchy comes from the Greek root words oligos (which means “few”) and arkhein (which means “rule”). Between about 800 B.C.E. and 650 B.C.E., most Greek city-states were ruled by a small group of men. These men were called oligarchs, and they often ruled like kings who shared power together. The oligarchs of ancient Greece used their power to make sure they could: • Spend their days hunting or taking part in chariot races • Host and attend parties The oligarchs of ancient Greece also used their power to ignore the needs of the people. They ruled by: • Passing laws that made the rich people richer • Increasing taxes for poor people • Using the army to force the people to obey their laws. Over time, hatred for the oligarchs grew. Eventually, the poor people turned to other leaders who promised to improve their lives. Typically, these new leaders were generals in the army who would use their soldiers to throw the oligarchs out of power. By 650 B.C.E., a stable oligarchy ruled only one city-state: Sparta, which was ruled by two kings who shared …show more content…
The word tyranny comes from the Greek root word tyrannos (which means “supreme power”). Tyrants became known for holding power through cruel and unfair methods. From about 650 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E., people in some Greek city-states looked to men who claimed that they wanted to overthrow kings or oligarchs and to make life better for the people. These men became tyrants because they just took over power— usually throwing out the current leader with violence. Even though they both have only one person who rules, a tyranny is different from a monarchy. Tyrants rule by taking over power. They are not given the right to have power (unlike a king who takes power because his father was also king). Most tyrants tried to scare the people into accepting their power. But there were several tyrants who actually did good things for the people. These tyrants ruled by helping the people: • They promised the people more rights • They lowered taxes • They used their army to protect the people Even though some tyrants used their power for good, there were always more cruel and harsh tyrants than good ones. This eventually caused the people in many city-states to revolt and use their strength in numbers to throw the tyrant out of power. By 500 B.C.E., a new form of government was created in the city-state of Athens. This type of government,

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