Politics In Ancient Greece

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According to Cartwright (2013), the ancient Greeks were particularly struggling to decide what forms of political system was right for them: who should be in charge and how the population should be led? Should they be led by a single powerful entity such as kings or should they be directed by a handful of wealth people such as aristocrats or should the entire political power lay into hands of the people itself? Since ancient Greece was the territory composed of more than 1500 poleis which is the Greece word for city state, each city states took on different forms of political structures acting like its own country. In this essay, I am going to explore the Ancient Greek poleis’ different forms of government: monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny,…show more content…
For instance, if we examined the Spartans, the political power was in the hands of 5 Ephors and 60 Gerouisa. These 5 Ephors were the magistrates who served in office for one-year term and they were elected to balance the kings’ power. Gerouisa were the elder member of council in which only the wealthy aristocrats at the age of over 60 were eligible to vote into office by popular assembly except for the two kings who were automatically gained the membership without the age limit. Unlike Ephors, Gerouisas were the life-time members. Since Spartans political power was in the hand of 5 Ephors and 60 Gerousia, their form of government was oligarchy.
Democracy: It is important to note that unlike current representative democracy system, ancient Greece democracy was a direct form. In fact, the word democracy was derived from the Greek word, demokratia which simply means the power of the people. Even though this power was belong to certain group of people, for example adult free male with both Athenians parents in Athens, the constitution of demokratia respected the voices of all qualified people regardless of their social
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