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Compare and contrast how the ideas about government affected the governing of Sparta and Athens Even in single countries different regions sometimes have governments that are very similar and at the same time very different Such a case occurred in ancient Greece in the city-states of Sparta and Athens While Sparta was more based on oligarchy Athens was a democracy Their profound differences in rule often caused them to war against each other These two significant ancient Greek city-states Sparta and Athens had many differences and similarities in how their ideas about rule influenced their government Spartan government was an oligarchy it was based on financial status and militarism The Spartans ruled over a set of oppressed people from Messenia known as helots They outnumbered the Spartans by a large amount and they revolted The Spartans were just barely able to crush the revolution They decided they needed their government to focus on military and their way of life to form a solid completely unified society The document entitled The Lycurgan Reforms says that obedience to their the people of Sparta legislator was the reason why the society prospered They had an assembly of all citizens over thirty years of age that played a part in the government They elected five magistrates called ephors These magistrates held only one year in office but had considerable power Despite these officials two hereditary kings and their council of elder advisors the gerousia still had the power to overrule any decisions made by the magistrates and the assembly The assembly of citizens supported the militaristic lifestyle of Sparta In fact Sparta was the only Greek city to support a full-time army Citizens maintained their lives by having private plots in Messenia farmed by helots Thus the Spartans had a lot of free time so the boys began to be sent to army camp at the age of seven and suffered the brutal ways of life there
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