The Athenian Government

How was Athenian government organized? How much citizen involvement in government was there? 

The Athenian government was organized into four parts: the Assembly, the Council of Five Hundred, the Law Courts, and the Magistrates. The Assembly was open to any Athenian citizen who wanted to take part. They would discuss important matters, debate, and they had the freedom of speech, so everyones opinion was taken into matter. But, the citizen population was only 15% of all who lived in Athens and typically, you had to be a male with Athenian parents to participate, which made the Assembly smaller than it could’ve been. The Council of Five Hundred decided which matters would be brought to the Assembly. The members were chosen at random and they would serve for one year each. The Law Courts consisted of 6,000 citizens, chosen each year, as diocese’s or administrators. They would be selected as judges and juror’s. They heard cases, interpreted laws, and decided outcomes and penalties. That leaves us to the Magistrates. The Magistrates were various government officials who were elected or chosen by lot. There were exactly 1,000 offices to fill every year. Four hundred were chosen by lot and six hundred by election. Seeing as the Athenian government was an ‘Citizen Only’ club, and the citizen population was 30,000-40,000 people, it was a good chance that you would be a government official (assuming your a citizen). As you can plainly see, the government was filled to the brim with citizen involvement. Today, people want to be involved with the government as much as possible. Maybe those people should look into the history of Athens and see if that is what they really want.  

 

Western Civ: 30

 

 

 

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