Why Was Athens Successful

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Athens, located in southern Greece, experienced an expansion in culture and education during the years between the Persian War and Peloponnesian War (477-431 BC) which set the stage for future expansions of culture in civilizations like Ancient Rome and Europe during the Renaissance. Although Athens was very prosperous, innovative and ruled by strong leaders during their Golden Age, they still didn’t have a perfect government or social structure which puts into question how successful this period actually was.

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Pericles 's had great success in beautifying Athens and increasing its culture, through innovative art and architecture, as well advances in theater, which created a Golden Age because the people of Athens experienced …show more content…

Athens organized a group of Greek city states into the Delian League and eventually lead and dominated all of the city states in the League. Athens’s military prowess allowed them to look down on the other members of the League and treat them as members of an empire instead of equals. This caused some to view them with hostility which sparked the conflicts between Athens and Sparta that lead to the Peloponnesian War. The direct democracy of Athens wasn’t actually as inclusive and steady as the statement at Pericles 's funeral state, “Our Constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people (Doc C).” In fact, of the 450,000 citizens of Athens in 430 BC, only about 40,000 people had the power to vote. This group of people only included white male citizens, meaning that slaves, foreign born residents, women and some men who hadn’t obtained citizenship couldn’t vote (Doc D). This completely contradicts the all-inclusive concept of direct democracy that the Athenian government preached so frequently. To have a powerful and lasting empire with great prosperity you must have a series of strong leaders. The period of prosperity in Athens was so short lived because they only had one strong leader, Pericles. After Pericles died Athens could not defeat Sparta in the Peloponnesian War and also couldn’t hold the truce that was signed in 421 BC which allowed Sparta to gain overall victory in the

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