Sparta Vs Athens Essay

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The two dominate poleis, or city-states to dominate Ancient Greece, during the classical age, were Athens and Sparta (Adler & Powells, 2008, p. 87). Athens was the birthplace of political democracy, while Sparta maintained both a militaristic and authoritarian form of government (Adler & Powells, 2008). The Athenian form of democracy bears a striking resemblance to the United States democracy. Like the U.S. government, the Athenian government is divided into 3 branches, the ekklesia, boule, and deme. The ekklesia was brought together for a particular purpose related to making some form of critical decision that affected the future of the city-state (Adler & Powells, 2008). The ekklesia, consisted of all free Athenians who could subsequently…show more content…
89). Sparta abandoned individual freedoms and became a small nation of soldiers mainly due to the Messenian Wars (Adler & Powells, 2008). Sparta was a dual monarchy which was overseen by elected military officers known as ephors (Adler & Powells, 2008, p. 90). Government was one body and the people were dedicated to self-discipline, courage, and rigid obedience to the state (Adler & Powells, 2008). The main advantages of Athenian democracy were freedom of speech and equality before law, political and military stability, and lastly, civic pride (Harding, 2013). The main disadvantages were the inefficiency in the decision making process of a large government, and since there were technically no professional government officials, implementation, coherence and quality of policies was in question (Harding, 2013). From a civil rights perspective, there were limitations on citizenship and ostracism was observed, these practices alone may have prevented Athens from developing into a larger city-state (Harding, 2013). Lastly, mass meetings could not support an empire which ultimately resulted in the abandonment of democracy (Harding,

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