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Ancient Greek City-States

            Ancient Greece was a land of many city-states. Each city-state had its own government, laws, rulers, and customs, although they did have certain things in common such as language and religion. Two of the most famous city-states were Athens and Sparta. Athens was home to approximately 140,000 people (slaves, men, women, children) while Sparta was home to only about 8,000 Spartiates, or male adult warriors (they ruled over a population of 100,000 enslaved/semi-enslaved people). Though very close on a map, these two places were very different when it came to things such as government, the role of women, social structure, military, lifestyle, education, etc. Though they were very different, we find they had some similarities.
             In Ancient Greece, there were two different (major) forms of government, Oligarchy and Democracy. The two city-states that best represent each form of government are Sparta (Oligarchy) and Athens (Democracy). The democratic government in Athens consisted of elected officials, a council of 500, and a jury service. All citizens could attend meetings and speak up, which would contribute to laws and policy decisions). Because both parts of Athens' government had leaders who were elected, Athens is said to have been the birthplace of democracy. Despite this, only around 10% of Athens actually had voting rights (not to mention all of them were upper class citizens who were over 30 years old), which wouldn't technically make it a "true democracy". Both Athens and Sparta had an Assembly, whose members were elected by the people. On the other hand, the Oligarchy in Sparta consisted of two kings (rulers until they died or were forced out of office), 5 overseers, a council/senate, and the assembly. Sparta's government didn't offer as much freedom as Athens' did, but it best met the needs of Ancient Greece. Sparta put a more war-like attitude to Ancient Greece, and its main focus was obedience and war, while Athens' was trade and government.

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