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Athens And Sparta Democracy Vs Dictatorship Case Study

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History 1421 Week One Written Assignment University of the people Abstract This week, as a prompt for our written assignment we were given five questions relating to the text provided as week one’s reading material, “Athens & Sparta: Democracy vs. Dictatorship” by Dr. Peter J. Brand; how did people in Athens and Sparta obtain the right to participate in public life and make decisions affecting the community, who held public office, what rules governed the selection of public office holders, how were the two city-states similar in their governmental structures, and how did they differ. I attempt herein to answer these questions in a succinct manner with proper APA format and citation. I will show that both Athens and Sparta began as oligarchies,…show more content…
In Spartan society there were four groups of people involved in the making of policy (Brand, n.d.) There were the two royal houses; the Agiads and the Eurypontids. There was from each house a King, and while on the battlefield a kings word was law, but at other times they were often subject to the Gerousia, or “elder council,” and five annually selected councilmen known as “Ephoroi.” There was also a monthly assembly, the Ekklēsia, which was comprised of all the male citizens who chose to attend, that voted by shouting (Cartwright, 2013), but this assembly had considerably less influence. In Athenian society there was a sort of democracy, the first in recorded history, but political rights and the power to vote was held by a relatively small group. Only free adult males with Athenian parents were eligible. While this also seems like an oligarchy today, it gave voice to a much larger portion of society than any of its contemporaries.(Brand,…show more content…
Sparta seemed intent on consolidating power amongst its aristocratic families, while Athens moved in a different direction, attempting to keep power from gathering around any specific group, How were the two city-states similar in their governmental structures, and how did they differ? Both societies had a public assembly in which every citizen could make themselves heard. Both had relatively short terms of public office, (excluding the Gerousia) and both believed in reaching a consensus before enacting policy. Athens had a much larger group of citizens who had a much greater influence on matters of policy, and Sparta was a much more streamlined machine, geared toward making war, and maintaining military readiness. Conclusion Neither society was as inclusive as most modern societies, but both had things they held ideologically important, and did very well. We would do well to look upon the successes and eventual catastrophic failure of both societies, and avoid the same pitfalls-many of which are present in the current global political landscape. It is fascinating to me that Sparta lives in infamy to this day, despite the dearth of archeological remains when compared with Athens. What will be said of our society after it has faded into antiquity bears
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