What kind of a society would you want to live in: a militaristic, aristocratic society or a democratic, progressive society? These societies, Sparta and Athens, were both part of Greece, and they started to grow drastically, both politically and socially, in different directions. Sparta became a militaristic society with an oligarchy government; where as, Athens became an intellectual society with a democratic government. Both of these Greek poleis grew in different ways while becoming the dominant poleis in all of Greece. .
The Spartan society started to change during the Archaic period. Because of overpopulation and land hunger, Sparta fought and defeated another Greek polis to eliminate these problems. The war brought another problem to the polis of Sparta. The warriors fighting the war wanted to be rewarded for their victory, and this lead to the Lycurgan regime. .
The Lycurgan regime was a new political, economic, and social system for the Spartans. It made all citizens of Sparta legally equal and turned the government into an oligarchy. It also allowed the Spartans to divide up the lands they won from the war among all its citizens. The purpose of the Lycurgan regime was to enlarge the aristocracy, and it did just that.
The idea of an individual was nonexistent in Sparta. The people of Sparta were first loyal to the polis itself. The men were expected to be warriors and started their training at the early age of seven. After physical and military training, these men were soldiers after they were twenty-four years old and were ready for battle the rest of their lives. Because of all of the training, the men didn't have time to think about themselves, politics, or the arts. The loyalty and dedication of these people to Sparta ended all hope of individualism in the polis of Sparta.
The Athenian society also faced social and economic problems during the Archaic period. Athens solution came about in a much different way than the Spartans.