Government in Ancient Greece

City-states and their government.

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City-states in ancient Greece

The early Greek world was divided into separate city-states. Each city-state had its own government and laws. At times, city-states even fought between each other. Some of the most powerful city-states were Athens and Sparta, with few landowners, but many slaves. Slaves were very common in ancient Greece; their population was more than that of normal citizens. Women, foreigners, and slaves, were not thought of as citizens, and therefore could not vote. Slaves didn’t have many rights and couldn’t become citizens even when one was set free. Some slaves were treated poorly, but others lived in a family who loved them and treated them well. In the city-state Athens, took place the assembly. It was the main forum of political life and made important decisions. At least 6,000 citizens had to be present, in order for the assembly to take place. Ordinary male citizens, rich or poor, could make a speech and vote at the assembly. Voting for the citizens, was done by raising hands. The assembly met on the Pnyx, a small, rock hill, every nine or ten days. The assembly was the sign of democracy coming, and it was very frequently used by citizens.