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Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story - download pdf or read online

By Thomas N. Mitchell

ISBN-10: 0300215037

ISBN-13: 9780300215038

The 1st democracy, demonstrated in old Greece greater than 2,500 years in the past, has served because the origin for each democratic procedure of presidency instituted down the centuries. during this full of life historical past, writer Thomas N. Mitchell tells the total and memorable tale of the way an intensive new political order used to be born out of the progressive events that swept during the Greek international within the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., the way it took enterprise carry and developed over the subsequent 2 hundred years, and the way it was once finally undone by way of the invading Macedonian conquerors, an effective army power.
Mitchell’s tremendous heritage addresses the main the most important concerns surrounding this primary paradigm of democratic governance, together with what before everything encouraged the political views underpinning it, the methods the approach succeeded and failed, the way it enabled either an empire and a cultural revolution that reworked the area of arts and philosophy, and the character of the Achilles heel that hastened the loss of life of Athenian democracy.

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Extra info for Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story

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They became known as tyrants (tyrannoi), a word, possibly of Lydian origin, that was used to describe a monarch whose power was usurped rather than inherited or legally bestowed. 14 The best-documented case studies of patterns of revolution are provided by Sparta and Athens. Both were large and far from typical city-states, but their experience is broadly illustrative of the problems besetting the Greek world in the revolutionary era. Their solutions also represent some of the most important advances in the evolution of the polis and in Greek thinking about the state and the citizen and the best form of government.

Harsh debt laws, such as existed in Athens, under which loans were made on the security 16 DEMOCRACY’S BEGINNING of the person and default resulted in debt bondage, further increased the vulnerability of the poor and added to the discontent and to the general resentment that comes with gross inequality. Out of this background there emerged across the Greek world in the late seventh and sixth centuries an upsurge of social unrest centred around issues of corruption, oppression and political exclusion.

They were elected for life from among those of highest merit, which meant in practice that they came from the nobility, as Aristotle makes clear. They were elected by acclamation by the body of citizens, the damos. The Council constituted Sparta’s highest court, with a crucial role in criminal jurisdiction, and it also had probouleutic powers, which meant that it prepared all proposals going before the people. The damos, in addition to its electoral powers, also had the right to a say in shaping public policy, though it is clear it had no final decision-making power.

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Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story by Thomas N. Mitchell


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