Talk:Athenian democracy

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Edit request on 16 October 2012[edit]

The last sentence of the first section on Athenian Democracy contains a bold and erroneous statement (aside from several grammatical errors).

"Since the fall of Athenian democracy, there won't (wouldn't) be another democracy (democratic?) form of government until over a thousand years later (The date the article gives for the end of democracy in Athens is 322BC, so 322BC-1787AD is more than two thousand years. And still incorrect) when the United States was born (established".

This assertion is false on two counts. Firstly, it assumes that US Democracy equals Athenian Democracy. It does not. The US is not a form of direct democracy, but a constitutional representative democracy, of which it was certainly not the first. To quote the coexistent article on direct democracy,

"Direct democracy was very much opposed by the framers of the United States Constitution and some signatories of the Declaration of Independence. They saw a danger in majorities forcing their will on minorities. As a result, they advocated a representative democracy in the form of a constitutional republic over a direct democracy".

Furthermore, there is no mention of any similar direct democratic systems of government occurring before the US constitution was written, such as Veche-democracy in the Great-Novgorod Republic, the Venetian Republic and the Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Thus I propose the removal of the offending sentence.

Done. Ordinarily in a lead section I would be inclined to leave in an uncited claim if and only if it is only a summary version of a more detailed and cited claim made later in the article (which most if not all sentences in a lead section should be). However, the United States is not mentioned anywhere else in this article, so I have removed the sentence per your request. —KuyaBriBriTalk 14:40, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Along the same lines, the statement "...but the in-group of participants was constituted with no reference to economic class and they participated on a large scale." is simply, not true. That statement should be amended - see Thucydides and recent commentaries. No women, slaves or those without land or prominence participated and while the inclusion of warriors might be seen as broad enfranchisement, no man could be a warrior without the requisite expensive armor and at least one slave to carry it between battle sites. That is, to be a warrior was to be of a relatively affluent class. 76.88.1.215 (talk) 07:05, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Coups etc.[edit]

I removed the following:

Two coups briefly interrupted democratic rule during the Peloponnesian war, both named by the numbers in control: the Four Hundred in 411 BC and the Thirty in 404 BC. The focus on number speaks to the drive behind each of them: to reduce the size of the electorate by linking the franchise with property qualifications. Though both ended up as rogue governments and did not follow through on their constitutional promises, they began as responses from the Athenian elite to what they saw as the inherent arbitrariness of government by the masses (Plato in the Seventh Epistle does remark that the Thirty made the preceding democratic regime look like a Golden Age).

I can see nobody who thinks that these were because of a criticism of democracy. The Thirty were imposed by Sparta. Myrvin (talk) 15:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I also removed, as being odd, unclear and uncited:

On the other hand the empire was, more or less, defunct in the 4th century BC so it cannot be said that democracy was not viable without it. Only then in fact was payment for assembly attendance, the central event of democracy (Similarly for the period before the Persian wars, but for the very early democracy the sources are very meagre and it can be thought of as being in an embryonic state).[clarification needed]

Myrvin (talk) 16:46, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Land Requirements Discrepancy[edit]

Democracy: "All eligible citizens were allowed to speak and vote in the assembly, which set the laws of the city state. However, Athenian citizenship excluded women, slaves, foreigners (μέτοικοι metoikoi), non-landowners, and males under 20 years old."

Athenian democracy: "Still, in contrast with oligarchical societies, there were no real property qualifications for voting."

Athenian democracy: "was opened to all with certain property qualifications"

Can someone please clarify this? I've flagged this on Democracy and Athenian democracy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheDragonFire (talkcontribs) 07:04, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

I have removed "Still, ....". The "was opened ..." refers to the position of archon. Myrvin (talk) 07:54, 25 September 2014 (UTC)