The Influence of Ancient Greek Democracy on Modern Politics

Education News | Apr-06-2024

The Influence of Ancient Greek Democracy on Modern Politics

While Ancient Greece is vindicated in its place known as the Nursery of Western civilization, the Greeks have highly rewarded the world with their amazing terms of democracy. Initially formed in the city-state of Athena in the 5th century BCE, Athenian democracy reigned supreme in its contemporaries and beyond, making a remarkable and long-lasting impact on modern government systems across the world. We discuss the fine points of ancient Greek democracy in this article and elaborate on its considerable influence on current forms of power in the phrase to follow.

Foundations of Athenian Democracy:
The value implied in direct democracy by Athenians almost quintessential was citizens' immersion in making decisions. In the democracy known today, the majority of people as a representative in government bodies are only prone to raise matters that are favorably accepted, but in ancient Athenian democracy, the citizens directly vote in laws, policies, and major political matters. Citizen involvement has been significantly intensified, and citizens now know they are directly responsible for governance. Hence, they develop a sense of civic duty and responsibility.

Key Features of Athenian Democracy:

Assembly (Ekklesia):
The Hierarchy of the Athenians was one of the principal democratic tools using which the citizens used to deliberate upon legislative matters and vote on the proposals at large The assembly was open to anyone, therefore any citizen was able to get to the stage and present his/her view on the town's matters. This way, an even wider range of views would be reflected.

Courts (Dikasteria):
The justice system in Athens comprised of jurors who were regular citizens themselves who reached decisions on legal cases through experiencing an open trial process ensuring fairness and transparency.

Council (Boule):
The Boule was selected from every citizen by lottery and had the prerogative to develop legislation and establish the policies decided upon by the assembly.

Townspeople had an original form of democratic procedure called ostracism, which gave citizens the right to remove a famous person from the city and send him or her to exile for ten years if they thought him a threat to the health of democracy.

Legacy in Modern Politics:
The values and techniques of the ancient Athenian democracy undoubtedly are the reasons why modern democratic systems in the whole world are similar to the democracy of ancient Greece.

Here are some ways in which its influence can be observed:

Representative Democracy:
Direct democracy for consolidated, modern republics is almost impossible as it was for the rulers of ancient Athens. Instead, the idea of citizens putting their representatives in the power of the governance on the people’s behalf can be seen as the predecessor of the modern representative democracy. Through an innovative system of representative models, the unitary system preserves the authenticity of the democratic principle of popular sovereignty, while at the same time, it adapts itself to the complex nature of the political systems of modern governance.

Rule of Law and Judicial Independence:
The Athens’ view of supremacy over the laws and a neutral judge here and now laid the foundation for the present-day courts. Currently, the states mesh the respect for justice, equality before the laws, and hearing well, ideas that were first used by Greek jurists.

Civic Engagement and Participation:
The Athenian democracy was a proponent of civic engagement and participation that inspired civil movements and fought for equal rights for minorities, social justice, and accountability of government. From the smallest grassroots to voter participation techniques to promoting free participation, citizens play a huge role in building democracies that value the people's opinions.

Democratic Ideals in International Relations:
The enrichment of democratic values namely individual rights, freedom of speech, and cooperation resulting in the peaceful settlement of disputes became a principal moment in global diplomacy. The world strives toward the selection of the ideas demonstrated by great Greece as the basis for creating a decent life for the population with the goal of stability and prosperity on the planet.

Conclusion, The triumph of ancient Greek democracy stands proudly as a signpost for political novelty as well as rationality. Its influence still propels the path of human governing practice millenniums after its advent. Although the political systems of today are multifaceted and evolved from the roots of Athenian democracy, the basic principles of democracy that were the foundation of ancient Athens remain just as applicable and giving as they were over 2,000 years ago. In a world driven by rapid technological changes and also subject to their consequences, we need to try to reflect upon history and learn important civic lessons from it.

By : Gulshan
Sanskar science academy

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