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Athenian vs. United States Democracy

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Athens is is known as the city where democracy originated from. It was a way to involve people in the government. Democracy shaped virtually everything in Greece. Democracy is a system of government ruled by the whole population. The people who have a say are typically elected representatives. The United States Democracy is a representative democracy. We select representatives to speak for the people. In Athens they had a direct democracy where people had direct control. Through Athens and the Unites States Democracy we have gotten the chance to see what works and doesn’t work and what makes a democracy efficient. Although our systems were in different time periods and parts of the country we have many similarities and differences.

Greece’s democratic system is very different from ours here in the United States. In Greece the only people that could vote were men who were citizens and owned property while, In the United States, all who are citizens and over 18 can vote. When you look at the stone relief panel about democracy you can see that when democracy was crowned on Athens the Athenians supported democracy so much that they displayed the stone panel so that everyone could see. Athens wanted everyone’s voices to be heard. The stone relief was displayed in a public place to show how supported Greece was of the idea of democracy. In “The Funeral Oration of Pericles” he talks about democracy. Pericles says that democracy allows men to advance because of merit instead of wealth or inherited class. He also says that in a democracy, citizens behave lawfully while doing what they like without dear of prying and that in a democracy, there is equal justice for all in private disputes.

Just because the democratic system of early Greece was during a different time period it doesn’t mean that our systems were different Actually our systems our quite similar. Like our modern voting districts, the Athenian countryside was divided into units. In both these systems citizens had to be registered to vote on laws and public policies. Like us, Athenian democracy had a council of representatives and to prevent corruption, they also had imposed limits on the number of terms leaders could govern. When reading the excerpt from the book Politics by Aristotle you read about Aristotle’s opinion on education. Aristotle’s strong belief in the importance of education is evident. He states the education is the best mean of preserving a system of government. Aristotle’s emphasis education is embedded in his emphasis on the goal of the city. Aristotle says that education is not solely about intellect but about the education of the soul.

There are so many types of democracy but the principles that they are based on are fundamentally the same. Democracy is a form of government that derives its power, directly or indirectly from the people. Democracy works only with the participation for the citizens. The main principles is equality for the citizens of the nation, accountability of the elected officials, transparency of government proceedings, a multi-party system, and a bill of rights to protect against the freedom of individuals. What makes democracy work so well is the flexibility of the system. By allowing the people to choose who makes up the government, they are able to select people that have similar views and values as themselves. It gives the people the power to change

the government officials if the opinion of the population changes or if the people in power begin to do their jobs poorly.

In Conclusion, the democratic system has had its ups and downs but the end result, it has benefitted the United States greatly. The Athenian Democracy and The United States Democracy were very similar yet quite different. Through trial and error, each civilization ended with the democratic system of government. There are many things to make democracy successful and efficient. Democracy is a very brilliant system of government and has made our country and the Athenian Country rife with happiness, and structure.

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