Athens: The Limitations Of Athenian Democracy

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the idea of representative government began to take root in some city states, specifically Athens. Athenian reformers moved toward democracy, rule by the people. In Athens citizens participated directly in political decision making. However there were limitations on citizenship to ensure that only the most rational people were able to vote. Through the construction of democracy in Athens, equality of all citizens became greater, and the city would become the top democracy of all the democracies.

The first step toward democracy was when Draco, a nobleman, came to power in 621 B.C. Draco created a law code that stated all Athenians were equal under the law, no matter rich or poor. He also established debt slavery, where debtors worked as slaves to repay debts. Another important reformer was Solon, who came to power in 594 B.C He stated that no citizen should own another citizen, which outlawed debt slavery, and organized Athenians into four social classes by wealth. Another Athenian Leader Cleisthenes increased power of the assembly by allowing all citizens to submit laws for debate and passage in 500 B.C. He created the Council of Five Hundred, which proposed laws and counseled the …show more content…

Solon created a set of limitations in 594 B.C to limit the amount of people who could vote. The first limitation was that you must be male, because women were “out of control” and needed to be kept in their houses. The second limitation was that you needed to own property. If you owned property, that meant you payed taxes and you would vote for people who would use their money for important things. The third limitation was that you needed to be freeborn, or never a slave. If you were a slave, you were not reasonable enough. The last limitation was that you needed to be born in Athens because the Athenians were the best of the best, and many people were xenophobic, meaning fear of

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