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Democracy in
Greece and Rome
© 2010, TESCC
What is government?
The form or system of rule by which a
state, community, etc., is governed.
© 2010, TESCC
The Greek Polis (City State)
The Polis was the town and the
surrounding area.
 Where the community of people came
together to rule themselves; having a
common goal and identity.
 Acropolis: Usually the fortified center of
the town, also used for meetings
© 2010, TESCC
The Greek Polis (City State)
Citizen with Political Rights =
males over 21
 Citizens w/ no Political Rights =
Females & Children
 Non-Citizens = Slaves
© 2010, TESCC
Direct Democracy: All citizens
vote on all decisions made by the
Tyranny and Tyrants
© 2010, TESCC
The Authoritative Rule of an individual
(above the law)
Many times are given power in time of
crisis and chose to keep it in time of
Oligarchies are the rule by a few.
– Usually the aristocrats (Wealthy landowners)
– Sometimes military leaders (modern)
© 2010, TESCC
Roman Law
Patricians: aristocratic, wealthy, landowning families of Rome; could serve in
government positions
Plebeians: Lower class of Romans who
still enjoyed the rights of citizenship.
© 2010, TESCC
Government Positions:
2 Consuls: Elected annually to run the
govt. and lead the army
 Praetors: High Judge position to
carry out Roman Law
 Tribunes of the Plebs
© 2010, TESCC
Senate: 300 land owning men
– made the laws; served for life
Centuriate Assembly: Based on wealth
but represented all classes
Council of the Plebs: Lower classes
– Veto Power (“I Forbid”) over some laws
© 2010, TESCC
The Spartacus Slave Revolt.
The Gladiator Spartacus creates an army
of runaway slaves, (gathering more as
the movement continued) and led the
slaves of Rome to revolt against the
Roman ruling class in an attempt to flee
Italy and seek sanctuary in Africa.
 Rome turns to Crassus to be the dictator
to put down the revolt. The slave army
was finally conquered but starting at this
point, the representative government of
the Romans is subverted to the role of
the dictator or Emperor.
© 2010, TESCC
To sum it up …
The Greeks and the Romans developed
and practiced the early forms of
 Both of these Nations could not make
democracy last and were ruled by
 The lasting influence is the idea of
citizenship and that people can and
should be responsible for the
government that has authority over
© 2010, TESCC