Athens Rome Essay

845 words - 3 pages

Athens:
 Democracy-rule by the people
 Power in Council
 Leading the Council was oligarchy (small group of rulers who controlled the judicial, military, civil and religious functions of government)
 Oligarchy became powerful and passed laws for its benefit
 Farmers and merchants revolted
 Nobles saw the danger in the future, so they distributed land of the wealthy to the poor and it gave Assembly power to pass laws and elect gov’t officials
 Direct democracy developed-more people had a say in gov’t
 Beliefs: Majority rule (law making process and jury trials), all citizens equal
 Women, slaves and foreigners were not citizens- unable to be in gov’t, poor could not afford education and there were lotteries rather than elections.

Rome:
 Republic-representative democracy, one citizen represents a number of others
 Social structure: patricians (upper, landowners) and plebians (lower, farmers)
 Each had lawmaking body, but only patrician Senate could pass laws
 Plebians wanted greater role in gov’t-they were allowed to hold gov’t posts
 Beliefs: lawmaking bodies on state and local levels, all free men have equal rights, innocent until proven guilty, certain rights can never be taken away
 Contributions: system of laws- patrician judges made unfair decisions, therefore, laws were written down to handle similar cases similarly

English Traditions:
 “cultural baggage”-brought traditions of England to America
 Common Law-judicial decisions standardized-judges look back on past similar cases
 Precedents-previous decisions and local customs of people-same decisions applied for all- this is today’s basic legal procedure-cite past cases to prove theirs
 Magna Carta (1215)-king not above law, trial by jury (peers), speedy trial, protections from unjust punishment
 Parliament-English lawmaking and rep. Body. Parliament grew in power because monarchs need money-this idea was that of limiting power within gov’t through three branches
 Bill of Rights (1689)-monarch must have consent of people, through their rep. in parliament , in order to tax and change laws

European Philosophers:
 John Locke-natural rights (people were born with life, liberty, and property), when gov’t established, there is a social contract btwn. the people and gov’t, if the gov’t does not meet needs of people, people can form new gov’t.-ideas incorporated in DI
 Montesquieu-French-no one person was allowed to make, enforce or interpret laws in England’s gov’t. Believed division of power prevented abuse- ideas in Constitution for separation of power
 Rousseau-French-people had right to determine how they should be governed and not some tyrant

Colonial Influence:
 Mercantilism-nation trying to...

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