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Ancient Greece Founders of Democracy - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ancient Greece. Founders of Democracy. Democracy. Comes from two Greek words: Demos - “the people” Kratos - “the rule” or “the power” The people ruled themselves! Greeks were first people to invent a democratic system where citizens governed themselves through voting. . Before Democracy.

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Ancient greece l.jpg

Ancient Greece

Founders of Democracy

Democracy l.jpg

  • Comes from two Greek words:

    • Demos - “the people”

    • Kratos - “the rule” or “the power”

    • The people ruled themselves!

  • Greeks were first people to invent a democratic system where citizens governed themselves through voting.

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Before Democracy

  • Other systems were tried and failed.

  • Early Greek states were ruled over by a king, who was counselled by a small group of aristocrats (wealthy people).

  • During the Dark Ages, most kings lost their power to members of the aristocracy.

    • led to enforcement of unwritten laws.

    • Created lack of voice in government for most members in society.

    • Kept their power because they were the military backbone - provided money for armour. This was before hoplites.

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The Age of Tyrants

  • This period is commonly referred to as the age of Tyrants.

  • Tyrant - a person who exercises control in a cruel, unreasonable, or selfish manner.

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  • Between 675-650 BCE, new style of warfare emerged that required unified movement of large groups of warriors, known as hoplites.

  • Not enough aristocrats to fill the battle lines.

  • Anyone who could afford the armour could fight in the Greek army.

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  • Heavily armed warriors - 60-75 lbs of armour.

  • Carried large, round shield made from wood and covered in bronze.

  • Wore shin protectors (greaves), leather apron, red shirt, bronze breastplate (corslet), bronze helmet decorated with horse hair.

  • Used bronze, leaf-shaped spear with about 18 ft. wooden shaft.

  • Also carried a curved sword (kopis).

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The Phalanx

  • The type of formation the hoplites fought in.

  • Main tactic was to keep front line unbroken.

  • Men marched in blocks 8 wide and 8 deep.

  • Formed a wall of shields.

  • Experienced men were in the front and back - to keep anyone from running.

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  • Avoided tyranny for many years.

  • Why?

  • They had a written code of law and an archon - someone who mediated disputes between the people.

  • Law code written by Draco in 620 BCE.

    • Recognized that laws could be criticized and changed.

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  • Archon appointed in 594 BCE.

  • Made changes in the law so that the poor were relieved of their debt and land problems.

  • Also abolished law that forced debtors into slavery.

  • Allowed all wealthy men (not just aristocrats) to run for high government offices.

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Council of 400

  • 100 citizens from the 4 tribes of Athens elected (annually) and met regularly to prepare laws to be voted on by the Citizen Assembly.

  • Tribes based on clan relationships.

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People Without Political Power

  • Women

  • Slaves

  • Foreigners (people not born in Athens)

  • These people were not considered citizens mainly because they could not fight in the army.

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Democracy Interrupted

  • Peisistratus - became tyrant of Athens and ruled for approx. 20 years until his death.

  • His son, Hippias, continued in his father’s footsteps, but eventually lost support when Sparta invaded.

  • Hippias and his family surrendered and were forced into exile.

  • The tyranny ends!

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What Now?

  • Cleisthenes -member of a noble family suggested doing away with the 4 clans and instead create an equitable division of all citizens into 10 tribes.

  • Council of 400 replaced with Council of 500 - 50 members elected from each tribe.

  • Each tribe elected a general to lead military affairs.

  • Other offices came to be filled by drawig lots annually. Any fit citizen could now hold office!

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  • To exclude someone from a society or group.

  • Allowed the city to send any citizen and his family into exile for 10 years who was thought to be a tyrant.

  • Needed 6000 votes to be ostracized.

  • Voted using ostraka - broken pieces of pottery.

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Spartan Society

  • One of two most powerful Greek city-states.

  • Known as warriors - the best in the business.

  • Known for their long red cloaks (disguised blood) and letter “V” on their shields.

  • Lycurgus - man who developed the tough military program.

  • He also proposed constitution making all adult males born to citizens equal in politics.

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Spartan Life - Boys

  • At age 7 boys began military training. Learned to withstand pain, be obedient, and never admit defeat.

  • At age 30 became a full citizen - could vote, marry, hold political office, have a house, and receive estate worked by helots (slaves).

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Spartan Life - Girls

  • Enjoyed more freedom and privilege than elsewhere in Greece.

  • Encouraged to take part in sports to develop healthy bodies so they could have healthy babies.

  • Given training in music and dance.

  • Property and marriage rights.

  • Admired for independence and beauty.

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The Persian Wars

  • Around 6th century BCE, the Persian empire was vast and was threatening eastern Greece states (Ionian cities).

  • Greek city-states tiny in comparison to Persian empire. Only a fraction of their power.

  • Greece appeared weak because they fought amongst themselves and rarely agreed on anything for very long.

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Persian Wars

  • Greece brought “face to face” with Persia when Sardis fell.

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Persian Wars

  • Ionian states were unable to unite and surrendered to Persians.

  • Forced service into Persian army.

  • Governor of Miletus led a revolt and called for help from other Greek states, but only 25 warships arrived from Athens and Eretria.

  • Persians destroyed Miletus,

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Battle of Marathon

  • 490 BCE - Darius is King of Persia.

  • Sends fleet of 20 000 soldiers to Athens and Eretria as punishment for helping Miletus.

  • Burned and plundered Eretria then sailed to plain of Marathon (a safe base).

  • Athenians sent runner to Sparta (250 km away) for help.

  • Returned 4 days later. Sparta would only come after the full moon - a week or more away.

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Battle of Marathon

  • 9000 Athenian warriors went alone to Marathon to meet Persians.

  • Charged the Persians and cut them down as they fled to their ships.

  • Herodotus writes 6400 Persians were killed, but only 192 Athenians.