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Ancient Athens And Democracy

            The Greeks were very advanced for their time. Their first type of government was an oligarchy, which is ruled by a small group of citizens. After some time, they realized that they needed a new form of government. In the 5th century BCE, they were able to invent the first democratic government in the world. It took them much time, and many struggles, at which they overcame to finally make the transition from monarchy to democracy. The democracy that the Greeks came up with was based on two important factors. The first one was the population growth in Athens grew at a very fast rate. The second was the advocating of political, economic, and legal equality for all which some male citizens remembered from the living conditions in the Dark Ages. The Greek system of Democracy did have its shares of problems though.
             Between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, Athens and Sparta became the two dominant cities of Greece. Each of these great states united its weaker neighbors into a league or confederacy under its control. Sparta, a completely militarized and aristocratic state, established its leadership mainly by conquest, and kept its subject states under strict rule. The unification of Attica was, however, carried on by mutual and peaceful agreement under the leadership of Athens, and the inhabitants of smaller cities were given Athenian citizenship. The nobles, or Eupatridae, who ruled Athens until the mid 6th century BC, abolished the hereditary kingship of Athens in 683 BC. The Eupatridae also kept complete authority by their supreme power to dispense justice. In 621 BC statesman Draco codified and published the Athenian law, there by limiting the judiciary power of the nobles. .
             A second major blow to the hereditary power of the Eupatride was the code of the Athenian statesman and legislator Solon in 594 BC, which reformed the Draconian code and gave citizenship to the lower classes. During the rule of the tyrant Pisistratus, the forms of government began to take on the elements of democracy.

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