History for Kids Geography for kids Science for kids Kids Educational Site and Search Study and Homework for kids Sports Games
advertisement

Kid's Poll



More polls



Ancient Greece

Government

History >> Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may be most famous for their ideas and philosophies on government and politics. It was in Greece, and particularly Athens, that democracy was first conceived and used as a primary form of government.

The Greek City-State

Ancient Greece was made up of city-states. A city-state was a major city and the surrounding areas. Each city-state had its own rule and government. Sometimes the city-states fought each other. Athens and Sparta were the two largest city-states and they had many wars and battles.

Types of Government

There were three main types of government: Over time some city-states, like Athens would change governments. Sometimes they were ruled by Tyrants and, at other times, they were a democracy.

Athenian Democracy

Democracy in Ancient Greece was very direct. What this means is that all the citizens voted on all the laws. Rather than vote for representatives, like we do, each citizen was expected to vote for every law.

They did have officials to run the government, however. Most of these officials were chosen by a lottery. So every citizen had a chance, regardless of their popularity or wealth, to become an official. A few key positions were voted on, such as the treasurer and the 10 generals who ran the army (also called the strategoi).

Who could vote?

In order to vote, you had to be a citizen. However, not everyone who lived in Athens was a citizen. Only men who had completed their military training were counted as citizens.

Bodies of Government

There were three main bodies of the government: the Assembly, the Council of 500, and the Courts.

The Assembly included all citizens who showed up to vote. Everyone who was a citizen could participate as part of the assembly. The assembly would decide on new laws and important decisions, like whether or not to go to war.

The Council oversaw much of the day-to-day running of the government. The Council was determined by lottery. If your name was chosen, then you would be on the council for one year.

The Courts handled lawsuits and trials. The courts had large juries to help make decisions. For private lawsuits the jury was at least 201 people, for public lawsuits the jury was at least 501 people.

Take a ten question quiz at the Ancient Greek Government questions page.

For more about Ancient Greece:

Overview
Timeline of Ancient Greece
The City of Athens
Sparta
Greek City-states
Peloponnesian War
Persian Wars
Glossary and Terms

Culture
Daily Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Ancient Greek Art
Olympic Games
Government of Ancient Greece
Greek Alphabet

People
Alexander the Great
Aristotle
Pericles
25 Famous Greek People
Greek Philosophers

Greek Mythology
Greek Gods and Mythology
Zeus
Hercules
Monsters of Greek Mythology
The Iliad
The Odyssey

History >> Ancient Greece






Privacy Policy

Kids Games  History for Kids  Homework Help  Science  Geography for Kids 

About Ducksters  Link to Ducksters  Teachers 

Last updated: This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.


To cite this article using MLA style citation: