The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Sparta And Athens

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Athens, Sparta, and Thebes all failed to create a lasting “Greek Empire.” While each polis had its own strengths and weaknesses, the poleis all failed for similar reasons. The poleis failed mainly due to almost constant power struggles, arrogance, and involvement in conflicts they should not have been involved in. Athens, Sparta, and Thebes all failed in spite of various strengths and due to various weaknesses. Athens’ strengths included its large size, large trireme navy, wealth, and democratic government. Athens’ weaknesses included its unwritten laws, lack of unity at the beginning, insatiable hunger for new territories, and constant power struggles with other poleis. Sparta’s major strength was its militaristic culture- everything was done for the polis and everybody worked to make sure the polis stayed strong. Additionally, Sparta’s strengths included its relatively large army, …show more content…
However during the so-called Spartan Hegemony, there was an intense rivalry going on between Sparta, Athens, and Thebes. This rivalry led to the downfall of all of the poleis because they spent so many resources on conflicts with potential allies. Additionally, Sparta was very arrogant, leading it to alienating allies. Since Sparta was an imperialistic society, allies could make a difference in the conflicts that resulted from Sparta’s imperialism. Finally, Sparta’s arrogance ultimately led to its downfall. After the Corinthian War, Sparta gained power, as the Persians, afraid of Athens resurging, gave Sparta control over Greece. This control made Sparta arrogant, causing it to attack Thebes and seize it. Sparta was then even more arrogant and attacked Athens. However, Athens was able to resist. This attempt on Athens caused Athens and Thebes to team up against Sparta. In the end, Thebes deprived Sparta of its slave labor, causing Sparta to collapse and Thebes to reign

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