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The Father of Democracy: The Ancient Greek, Cleisthenes

From the ancients to the present giving the groundwork for democracy.

U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution

Aristotle

Aristotle

the-father-of-democracy-the-ancient-greek-cleisthenes

The Ancient Greeks

Democracy is taken from the words "demos," meaning people, and "Kratos," meaning rule or power. The ancient Greeks changed the world forever.

We certainly owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ancient Greeks. The list is long and includes philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, science, contracts, and most important, democracy and a constitution. Moreover, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, going back 3500 years.

Some famous ancient Greeks include; Solon, Cleisthenes, Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Alexander the Great, and Aristole. The Greeks gifted the world with numerous inventions, including the gear, bronze casting techniques, the water clock, a chart to find prime, PI, and the Olympics.

In the sixth century, an important Greek, Solon, laid the basis for democracy as a foundation for government. He was known in Athens as one of the seven wisest men of Greece. Solon blamed the turmoil in Athens on Greek aristocrats with their greed, thirst for power, and moral decline.

Following Solon, Cleisthenes, a magistrate who today is credited as the Father of Democracy.

Solon

Solon

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes

United States Constitution

The Greeks were the first to have a written constitution, probably written by Aristole or his assistant. When our Founding Fathers met to draw up the American Constitution, they studied the Greek writings and drew inspiration from the morals, ethics, and fundamental principles of a democratic society. A critical piece was the Rule of Law.

This provided that all laws be publicly accessible, equally enforced, independently judged, and adhere to human rights ethics. It went on to say that everyone is held accountable for their actions. In the United States, the Rule of Law prevents the abuses of power and is punishable if they act as if they are above the law.

No individual, including the president or private citizen, stands above the law.

America has become increasingly more divided among politicians with little interest in compromise. Instead, some are more concerned with their own pockets, interests, donors, and lobbyists.

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All laws are supposed to express the people's will and NOT one.'s personal beliefs.

Rules of Law

Rules of Law

Rules of Law

Rules of Law

Ancient Democracy

Ancient Democracy

Power ToThe People

Power ToThe People

Solon And Cleisthenes

Solon, was a wise man among the Greeks. He blamed the turmoil of Athens on greedy aristocrats. He laid the foundation to make all citizens equal and reduce the greed among aristocrats. But, it was Cleisthenes who is remembered as the Father of Democracy. Cleisthenes then introduced Ostracism, whereby citizens could vote to exile a person who was dangerous to Athens or too powerful.

How The Greeks Handled Corruption

The Greeks had a way of dealing with corruption by devising a technique to create a way to end it. They named it Ostracism. This began with a motion by an assembly, a group of elected and educated who acted as an interim parliament. First, votes would be cast on a piece of pottery with their name and the name of who should be ostracized. Then, the votes would be collected and counted. The person with the majority of votes was deemed the most dangerous or corrupt.

That person would then be given ten days to get their affairs in order and exiled for ten years from the city. It sounds like an effective way to attack corruption of a citizen too powerful and corrupt.

Is it time to bring back Ostracism? Democracy is for the people, by the people. We must never allow abuses of power or corruption in government.


Greek Ballots

Greek Ballots

Greek Ostracism

Greek Ostracism

Sources Used

https://www.crf-usa,org/bill-of-rights

https://www.theatlantic.com/access/archive

https://theculturetrip.comhttps://em.wikipedia.org/wiki/solon

https://education.nationalgeographic.org

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