Greek City-States

Topics: Ancient Greece, Tyrant, Classical Athens Pages: 2 (417 words) Published: October 12, 2005
Greek- city-states

By looking at oligarchy, democracy and military governments developed from overrule of tyrants from the Archaic to the Classical periods, it is apparent that Greece was in need of political unification. It was certain that Greece was in need of political alliance; however it was an impossible goal to achieve for many eras. The first clue to the non-political union was the explosion of population during the archaic period. Once, the city-states, polis, were established, many Hellenes became uncertain and jealous towards their neighboring city-states. This led to the uprising of tyrants, who were the self-appointed leaders of each polis. Due to non-political unification, the emerging middle-class supported tyranny because of the need for true leadership. In certain city-states, a political privilege for wealthier member of society began to develop when tyrants could not hold their power any longer nor pass it on to their sons. In other words, oligarchy and tyranny worked one in the same to produce political instability in the Greek city-states. Oligarchy was ruled by the rich and stood for the rich. Moreover, another line of authority developing among the city-states was democracy. It was controlled by all free-adult males exercising political power. When a challenge was put upon a city-state by other hoplites, hard-working farmers freely fought for the safety of their homes. With democracy growing in polis, it was needed to have political participation from all of the society members. Democracy was a necessary step in strengthening the political unification of Greece's city-states. Similar to Oligarchy, democracy stood and as ruled by the common people of Greece. As well as oligarchy and the rise of democracy, military governments took a portion of Greece's polis. In a military governed city-state, total isolation from other city-states was called for, along with the forbiddance of trade, which was for one's personal gain. This was a key...
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