Governments of Ancient Greece Essay
There were three main governments in Ancient Greece, oligarchy, tyranny, and democracy.The most succesful for the Greeks was democracy.Tyranny and oligarchy were both used and were succesful to an extent but not nearly as succesful as democracy.
Tyranny came about because of trade and industry which created several wealthy individuals.These individuals seized power because they were forced by the aristocracy.These people who took the power were called tyrants which is where the word tyranny comes from.Tyranny was favored by both peasants and the wealthy because they were tired of the aristocracy dominating their city-state.The power of the tyrants was kept by hiring soldiers and once the tyrants gained their power they began to build marketplaces, temples, and walls in their city-state.The things they built gained the popularity of the tyrants which led to somewhat of a spread in tyranny but this kind of government finally came to an end by the end of the sixth century due to Greeks believing in the rule of law.
After tyrants had fallen, government moved in two directions, democracy and oligarchy.Sparta, a powerful Greek city-state, was an example of a powerful and very well known oligarchy. Oligarchy meant rule by few.The Spartan Government was headed by two kings.These leaders headed their Spartan army in its campaigns.Every year, the Spartans elected five mean referred to as the ephors.The ephors were responsible for the education of the youth and the conduct of all citizens.To vote on issues not covered by the ephors, a council of two kings and sixty elders was made.The Spartans decided to turn their backs to the ouside world in order to secure their state.The Spartans were not allowed to travel anywhere unless for military reasons.Foreigners who had ideas were turned away.This security plan led to Spartans not being able to study philosophy, literature, or th