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America the Modern Day Athens We do not copy our Ancestors but are an example to them It is true we are called a Democracy for the administration is in the hands of the many and not in the few This is the foundation for which democracy is ruled Without this democracy does not exist In this essay there will be comparisons of Athenian democracy and our modern day democracy Greece in ancient times was not a united land There existed many little provinces of control called city-states Two examples of the more powerful and lasting city-states were Sparta and Athens Sparta whose people lived an austere and militaristic form of life based its government on the needs of the army which things centered around this Athens another powerful city-state developed a more balanced life for its citizens Central to this development was the rise of democracy Called the cradle of democracy Athens developed a direct democracy Those citizens that were eligible could speak at forums and vote on issues These people were known as the Council of 500 they were chosen annually To be elected they had to be at least 25 years of age and a citizen They directly had a voice This is why Athens is an example of a direct democracy A point should be made here that Athens for all its noble ideas about men being able to govern themselves excluded most of the people that lived within its cities walls Women for example had no say in government They were subjected to running the homes raising children and tending to the needs of their husbands Slavery which existed in Athens also caused a blot on the noble experiment of democracy Slaves had no vote no participation in government and no recourse from a cruel master Athenian government relied upon direct democracy to raise taxes make laws and gather armed forces when necessary The American experiment in democracy
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