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Greece's Golden Age Under Pericles' Rule

3753 words - 15 pages

Greece’s Golden Age can be defined as a time of flourishing. There are many changes that occurred during this time that changed Athens for the better. Athens made the important decision of splitting itself from Sparta, who they constantly differed with. “It is from this split that the Athenian Empire was created” (Hunt 80). This split illustrates the certainty that the Athenians possessed in terms of creating a better nation. Athens developed an empire because democracy was expensive. In order for democracy to be created, you need an empire to raise money. The Athenian empire was well-known for its excellent trading along with the arts and sciences that developed during this time. When trade flourished, the polis grew which created colonies that further increased trade. This was an on-going cycle that assisted in the success of the nation. It is during Pericles’s rule that the empire prospered. Both Sparta and Athens took part in different leagues in an effort to intensify their dominance. The Delian League, which was the league Athens was associated with, continued to thrive. This allowed Athens the opportunity to create a democratic nation in which the people were provided with the freedom they continuously strived for. The individual that was determined to create a democratic nation was Pericles. He revised and renovated Athenian democracy. Pericles’s ultimate goal was to implement democracy. He worked hard to accomplish this goal and to change the Athenian Empire for the better. “Due to the failures that have been associated with representative democracy in the past, Athens came to have a direct democracy” (Class notes). Pericles revolutionized the democratic system. He aimed to put into effect the opportunity for male citizens to contribute in the new and improved democratic nation, and allow elites to decide on who is capable of serving in the office. However, in order for this to happen the Athenian citizens were to cooperate with the system. The assembly which was part of the Athenian government had several tasks to take care of which included: making administrative declarations, electing individuals into official positions, creating a constitution, and punishing those who committed crimes. The idea of how much an individual will get paid, who can serve in public offices, and who possesses authority were all dealt with in an arbitrary fashion. This is to give everyone an equal opportunity. People were penalized for misconduct. The laws were to be followed strictly according to the Rule of Law. Those who served in high positions were able to run for election as many times as they desired. “They did not have a salary because it prevented them from running for office simply to acquire money” (Hunt 82). These improvements drove the Athenian Empire towards democracy. A change from power in the hands of the archons to power in the hands of jurymen was implemented.
The form of democracy that Pericles put into effect was not favored by everyone....

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