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Athenian Democracy Vs American Democracy

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When you look at the literal definition of democracy in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, there is a decently large explanation. When looking at this definition and trying to decide whether the Athenian democratic system was truly democratic, one would have to go with the answer no. While it has been stated that Athens is the “cradle of democracy”, and that it was better than any of the other governments in the world, it was still a work in progress. The Athenian democracy, while it did give more power to the people, still left a lot of citizens out. The current American democracy may have steamed from Athens, but they do not really have that much in common. Political and social change may have begun with Solon, but the major foundation for…show more content…
Before in an oligarchy or in a monarchy one person or group made the decisions about everything. This is a very basic similarity though, as the groups in each democracy do completely different things. The current American Democracy split up their responsibilities into three separate branches. These checks and balances are called; judiciary, legislative and executive. The leader of the country or president as we call him is contained in the executive branch. While the Athenians did have their government centered on three major institutions, they were not…show more content…
The Dikasteria was the court of Athens. This is argued to be the most important part of the Athenian democratic system. Even the great philosopher Aristotle was quoted saying that it contributed the most to the system. The Dikasteria was created new everyday by picking 500 jurors at random of only male citizens thirty years or older. You may be able to compare this to the judiciary system that we have today, but once again only at a fundamental level. One of the largest differences between the Dikasteria and our judiciary system is that Athens had no police. Anytime a citizen committed a crime the demos, or politically active citizens, would bring said person to the Dikasteria for a trial. In current world affairs, it would be impossible to just let people go word against word, or to just bring someone in for a crime just because they felt like it. Another contrasting trait of the Dikasteria is that when a person was put on trial, they were to defend themselves. In current American democracy if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you, attorneys did not exist in ancient
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