Athenian Democracy Research Paper

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Democracy in Athens was the first known democracy in the world. It is believed to have developed in the 5th century B.C. It is one of the oldest democracies in the world. In particular, Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms in 507 B.C., which were called demokratia, which means the “the rule by the people” (, 5b). The system of governance comprised of three autonomous institutions namely the ekklesia, the boule, and the dikasteria (Raaflaub et al. 4). The ekklesia was the sovereign governing body of the government whose mandate was to make laws and foreign policy. The boule was a council of representatives who were drawn from the ten tribes in Athens. Finally, dikasteria was a popular court in which citizens argued cases before jurors. The form of governance lasted…show more content…
Cleisthenes democracy introduced a representative form of democracy where the ten Athenian tribes were to elect fifty representatives to the assembly. This increase representation and voting rights for most males in Athens: all citizens had equal rights and powers (, 5b). A full system of democracy was established in 456 BC after Areopagus authority over the elected officials diminished. Athenian democracy was unique because it used a lottery system to elect officials, which limited the ability of the officials or the citizens to yield too much power. Democracy in Athens accorded every citizen equal rights and powers irrespective of their socioeconomic status "a unique and truly revolutionary system that realized its basic principle...give all its citizens equal political rights, regardless of their descent, wealth social standing" (Raaflaub et al. 13). In 460 BC, the Athenian democracy collapsed due to its evolution to aristocracy: the one man, the best. This evolution compromised the intended democratic ideals by Solon and Cleisthenes (Ancient

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