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WowEssays Review "Athenian aristocracy and participatory Democracy"

There are two significant buildings within European civilization: Judaeo-Christianity and rationality with origins in ancient Greece. Both paradigms have a remote source, of at least four millennia: the time of Abraham's emigration from Ur to Palestine, or the beginning of the Mycena

We know how it has evolved, thanks primarily to the philosophical, theatrical, and historical texts preserved about Athens and Sparta, while from the colonies we have only small references to ancient writers and, at best, archaeological remains. Many scientific works have been written on democracy and many free research proposal samples are freely available.

From Aristocracy to Democracy
We have said that the polis will be the physical framework in which Greek Democracy will develop, which, although in a prototypical state, will be considered as the source of inspiration for today's democracies. Independently of the success that the ancient Greeks could have in the practice of this political theory, only its definition already warns of the pretensions of the first democratic politicians:

Demos = People + Kratos = Power = The power of the people.

However, as we say, Greek Democracy was the initiator of a new and different political system, but it was not precisely a Democracy as we understand it nowadays. In those first democratic societies, there were slaves, who, along with women, had no voting power and no way of exerting any influence on ability.

It should also be noted that polis and Democracy evolved at the same time. With the advent of empires (first Macedonians, and then Romans), he fell, democratic model. It would be necessary to wait for the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, at least in the West, to take up this political model again and to oppose, in the process, absolutism.

As for the evolution of the democratic process, there are enough sources to establish chronology from the aristocratic model of Hesiod time to the beginning of the transition to Democracy.

This evolution from a system dominated by the aristocrats to a democratic one was not natural and had, as has been the case throughout history, its ups and downs.

The first of these occurred after Solon's exile, which was followed by another politician called Pisistrato (607-527 BC) who was able to win the people's affection and establish, among Solon's supporters. In three different periods, Pisístrato ruled under a regime known as "tyranny." However, the meaning of the term, which comes to mean "master" or "lord," does not correspond to the present one, and it did not have such a pejorative sense as the one it has today.

Despite the base of its "electorate," Pisiatry had a reasonably moderate mandate and, above all, stood out for the improvement of the facilities of the city of Athens, the promotion of theatre and poetry, and the military successes both in the Helade and in the Mediterranean colonies. His mandate, more than one devoted to legal and political reform, was one of individual leadership.

Parliamentary Democracy and participatory Democracy

These political reforms carried out during two centuries ended up provoking a new model of society where Democracy alternated as a form of government with the aristocracy or the government of the "best."

In any case, Greek Democracy differed in some respects from today's Democracy. The most important is that in Athens, Sparta, or Corinth, it was the citizens who voted directly in the people's assembly once the Boulé or Council of the 500 - and even the Aeropagus - designed this or that law. In other words, we are talking about a participatory democracy where the separation of powers was not like it is today either: executive (government), legislative (parliament and senate), and judicial (courts). In ancient Greece, there were two spheres for legislating - Aeropagus and Boulé and the Ekklesia or people's assembly, where the people voted.


Despite its long life throughout history, Democracy as a political system has often been inferior, even to an elected leader who turned the democratic system into a dictatorship. Demagoguery, manipulation, and hidden interests have, on many occasions, led to such a noble end that the citizenry freely chooses its form of government.