Saturday, January 23, 2016

Warring City-States

Main idea: power and authority
City-states → development of several political system including democracy
Setting: During the Dorian period Greek civilization experienced decline
Two things changed life: 
1) identify less with the culture of their ancestors and more with local area
2) government: tribal/clan → city-states

Rule and Order in Greek City-States
Fundamental political unit (750 B.C.) city-states/ polis (50-500 square miles of territory and fewer than 10,000 residents)
Acropolis (agora/ marketplace/ fortified hilltop): citizens gathered to discuss city government

Greek Political Structure
Different forms  of government:
monarchy (king)
aristocracy (noble/ landowning families → serve in military for king to gain political power)
oligarchy (a few powerful people)→wealthy merchants and cavalry (trade)

Tyrants Seize Power
Repeated clashes occurred between rulers and common people
Tyrant: seized control of the government by appealing to the common people for support →  work for the interests of ordinary people

Athens Builds a Limited Democracy
Representative government: Athens → make timely reforms to avoid political upheavals
democracy (people) → citizens participated directly in political decision making

Building Democracy
Draco (621 B.C.) nobleman: developed a legal code → dealt harshly with criminals (making death the punishment for practically every crime) and upheld debt slavery
Solon (594 B.C.) → outlawed debt slavery (no citizen should own another citizen)
organized citizens into 4 classes according to wealth:
members of top 3 can hold political office
all citizens can participate in the Athenian assembly
any citizen can bring charges against wrongdoers
Cleisthenes (500 B.C.) → broke up the power of nobility (organized citizens into 10 groups based on where they lived rather than on their wealth)
increase the power of assembly
created the Council of Five Hundred → proposed laws and counseled the assembly (members were chosen at random)
Limited democracy → citizenship was restricted to a small number (free adult male property owners born in Athens, women, slaves and foreigners only had few rights)

Athenian Education
Only sons of wealthy families received formal education (began at age of 7)
Went to military school when they got older (defending Athens)
Girls did not attend school (educated at home by their mothers or other females) → to be good wives
Though few could learn to read and write even become writers most women cannot do outside family

Sparta Builds a Military State
Located in the southern part of Greece known as the Peloponnesus, was nearly cut off from the rest of Greece by the Gulf of Corinth
Military state → contrasted with other city-states (Athens)

Sparta Dominates Messenians
Around 725 B.C., Sparta conquered Messenia and took over the land → Messenians became helots
In 650 B.C., Messenians revolted (demanded half of the helots' crops each year)
The Sparta put down it barely so they dedicated to making Sparta a strong city-state

Sparta's Government and Society
Government had several branches:
An assembly (all citizens) → elected officials and voted on major issue
The Council of Elders (30 older citizens) → proposed laws on which the assembly voted
Five elected officials → carried out the laws, controlled education and prosecuted court cases
Two kings → ruled over Sparta's military force
Consisted of several groups:
citizens (descended from the original inhabitants of the region, including ruling families (own land)
noncitizens (free, worked in commerce and industry)
helots (bottom of society, worked in the fields or as house servants)

Spartan Daily Life
Had the most powerful army in Greece (600-371 B.C.)
Valued duty, strength, and discipline over freedom, individuality, beauty and learning
Men served in army until 60, spending all days marching, exercising, and fighting (7-30 barracks)
Had hard lives (all weather, light tunics, no shoes, no blanket, hard benches, coarse porridge) → such training produced tough, resourceful soldiers
Girls received military training and were taught to put service to Sparta above everything (come back with your shield or on it)
Had considerable freedom → running the family estates when husbands were on military service (surprised Athenian)

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