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Name of Professor The American Government and Ancient Athenian Government: Similarities and Differences When the founding fathers of the American nation formed the very first modern democracy in the world they proclaimed that they were inspired by ancient Athenian democracy…
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Download file to see previous pages... government to the government of ancient Athens. Ancient Democracy and Modern Democracy One similarity is the degree of nationalism or positive national sentiment espoused by the government and the people. For instance, the people of ancient Athens greatly valued their rights and power. As Pericles claimed, “Remember, too, that the reason why Athens has the greatest name in all the world is because she has never given in to adversity, but has spent more life and labor in warfare than any other state…” (Euben et al. 106) The same as this deep-rooted sense of patriotism, determination, and achievement, the American government has also been recognized for displaying honor and integrity and it has also confronted periods of misfortune and hardships. Another comparison between ancient Athenian government and American government is observed when an absence of representation is evident. In American democracy, there are instances where the citizens are prohibited from the process of decision-making. This apparently is found in ancient Athenian government where only adult males were permitted to take part in the decision-making process within the government (Richard 75). At present, the United States implements a representative democracy where in it chooses ‘representatives’ through the process of election. ...
Besides these similarities, there are also numerous differences between ancient Athenian government and the U.S. government. First, ancient Athens’s legal system was tough because people usually do not hire a lawyer to represent them; these people usually represent themselves without any official representative to handle the case. The opposite is true in the U.S. government. Second, distinctions between non-citizens and citizens were firmly established (Euben et al. 102). According to Richard (1994), “Greeks were intensely concerned with differences among individuals—differences between humans and animals, between males and females, between free people and slaves, between men who owned property and men who did not, and of course between Greeks and non-Greeks” (Richard 123). At present, the U.S. government opposes and tries to eliminate such distinctions or inequalities. Moreover, citizenship was established differently in ancient Athens. In ancient Athenian government, citizenship was not established by socioeconomic standing; however, class relations and the power to choose were strongly determined by democratic citizenship (Richard 123-124). Lastly, Athenian democracy, unlike American democracy, was restricted. Immigrants, children, slaves, and women were barred from citizenship and were prohibited from voting (Euben et al. 113). They did not possess any political power during this period. The American form of government specified in the U.S. Constitution is not in fact a ‘democracy’ as that concept was identified in the 18th century. Indeed, almost all of the founding fathers of the American nation regarded ‘unadulterated’ democracy similar to that implemented in ancient Athens—where the citizens governed themselves through ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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