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Democracy (People’s Power)

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1 Democracy (People’s Power)
What is it? Where did it begin? How did it developed? Who was involved? Why is it important?

2 What is Government? Government: a system for controlling society
Throughout history people have recognized the need for a system to organize society For much of history, people lived under the rule of kings or rulers with absolute power Opposite of democracy First democracies=GREECE & ROME

3 Changing Governments Greek city-states tried various forms of government monarchy: one person (king/monarch) rules govt aristocracy: govt ruled by small group of noble, land-owning families oligarchy: govt ruled by a few, powerful people (wealthy merchants, nobility, etc.) democracy: rule of the people “Demos” = people “Kratos” = power                                           

4 Athenian Democracy Athens becomes largest & most powerful city-state
Citizens = adult males Citizens participate in decision making Economic problems & debt (600 B.C.) Poor farmers pledge their crops, land, then themselves (indentured servants/slaves) to wealthy landowners

5 1 of the 7 Wise Men of Greece
Solon (638 B.C.-558 B.C.) Outlawed indentured slavery & cancelled farmers’ debts. Established 4 classes of citizenship based on wealth, not heredity (born into) more rights & opportunities only top 3 classes were eligible to hold office but citizens could vote Created Council of 400 & these reforms: increased participation in government made laws more fair created beneficial economic reforms (trade) Citizens = all free adult males. only 1/10 of population were citizens women, slaves (1/3 of population), & foreigners were excluded 1 of the 7 Wise Men of Greece

6 Cleisthenes (570 B.C.-507 B.C.) Expanded the Council of 400 to 500 members chosen randomly Broke up the power of the nobility poor citizens had more involvement Tried to balance rich & poor Citizens were allowed to submit laws to gov’t Only 1/5 of population were citizens

7 Pericles (495 B.C. – 429 B.C.) Greeks fight Persian invaders trying to conquer Greece ( ) Democracy survives Pericles paid jurors & increased the number of paid public officials this allowed poor citizens to participate in government DIRECT DEMOCRACY= citizens rule directly & make laws (no representatives) he was very proud of Athens democracy                               

8 Why Remember Greek Democracy?
Believed citizens should have a say in gov’t Voting public debate making laws serving on juries holding office DIRECT DEMOCRACY!!! The Greeks had established a direct democracy and three branches of government: legislative to make laws executive to carry out laws judicial to interpret laws in dispute

9 Democracy Crumbles Civil war breaks out in Greece
Athens vs. Sparta (Peloponnesian War), then Macedonia conquers Alexander the Great Democracy does not die 3 incredible Greek philosophers continue democratic ideas used LOGIC & REASON to investigate the nature of the universe, human society, and morality

10 Socrates (469 B.C. –399 B.C.) QUESTION your beliefs (analyze)
Why do you believe what you believe? Socratic Method question-and-answer approach to understand beliefs & learn went against superstition and illogical beliefs The universe was created and operates in an orderly way, not based on the whims of gods question everything including authority!!!!! Charged with treason to the gods & executed (hemlock)

11 Plato (428 B.C.-348 B.C.) Socrates’ student, wrote The Republic
Main ideas: PHILOSOPHER KING, the wisest person, should rule (not the richest or strongest) He didn’t think average people were capable of governing Thought a ruler became a danger to the people when the ruler has too much freedom Creates the Academy lasts nearly 900 years Elite, not open to public

12 Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.) Plato’s student Middle Class!!!
Politics people are political by nature they must live in a state with a structured government Main ideas leaders act selfishly and against the best interest of the people The government must follow the law!!! Started the Lyceum School to encourage thorough study in many fields Mostly free & open to public

13 Democracy moves west to Rome

14 Roman Democracy Rome ruled by kings, overthrown 509 B.C., establish a republic Republic = indirect democracy = representative government !!!!! citizens elect representatives/leaders to make government decisions Most modern democracies are indirect Citizens = free-born adult males only Just like Greece, women & slaves not allowed to vote

15 Who had the Power? Two classes
patricians = aristocrats (landowners), inherited power plebeians = working class (farmers, merchants, artisans) Citizens who had the right to vote, banned from most powerful govt positions fought over their power in government, gained more power 2 branches of govt executive -2 consuls legislative – the SENATE (patricians) In time of crisis, dictator allowed 6-month term


17 Roman Written Law When laws were not written down, patricians often “interpreted” laws in whatever ways suited them Plebians demanded that laws be written down Importance: all free citizens had the right to protection of law & LAWS APPLY EQUALLY TO EVERYONE

18 Fundamental Roman Laws
Laws apply equally to all citizens A person is considered innocent until proven guilty The burden of proof rests with the accuser A person is punished only for actions, not for thoughts Unreasonable or unfair laws can be set aside Does any of this sound familiar?

19 Why remember the Roman Republic?
Laws apply equally to everyone Written law Republic=representative democracy= indirect democracy

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