Academic Unit 1 Early Attempts at Democracy and Republic
What does the government do?
Provides national security
Public services (roads, bridges)
Protects life, liberty, property
Makes economic decisions (taxes, trade, money)
Provides all of these for a state – a specific territory and population that has sovereignty.
B. Ways to Organize
Centralized or unitary – power comes from one place – Paris in France.
Federal – power is shared between central and local government Germany, Mexico, and USA.
Confederation – loose alliance of independent states – USA under the Articles of Confederation.
C. Ways to Rule
Monarchy – King or Queen, usually an inherited position. Usually is supported or detested by other nobles.
Dictator – military support is required for one man rule, often through a one party system. Erosion of rights to retain power angers people.
Emperor – similar to monarch, but over a diverse population.
Aristocracy – nobility rules as a group – Athens before democracy
Communist Party Rule – Modern day Communist Party in China rules over 1 billion people.
Military Control – Myanmar is ruled by army, little relationship between rest of world.
Direct – everyone votes on laws
Rarely exists, complicated to run.
Towns run by hall meetings is an example.
Ancient Athens was close, but foreign born and women could not vote.
Representative – Republic – This is the government of most nation-states today including the USA.
D. Branches of government
Legislative – makes the law (Congress)
Executive – carries out the law (President)
Judicial – interprets the law (Supreme Court)
II. Ancient Greece
A. What influenced Greece?
Dominated by mountains, valleys & small plains
Small communities due to little arable soil
Difficult to communicate
Had to sail to colonize, trade.
B. With so many independent states within Greece, what did they have in common?
A common language
A common heritage of myths
The worship of the gods.
C. Athenian democracy…
Lasted about 140 to 200 years
Did not include all Athenians, just native born men.
Was not seen again until Colonial America.
Democracy comes from Demos meaning "people" and kratos meaning "rule."
D. How did democracy develop?
Draco the Lawgiver and wealthy nobility used harsh punishments to control people.
Capital punishment for minor crimes
Law was codified
After Dracon’s death, Salon…
Abolished enslavement of Athenian citizens, redeemed all the Athenian slaves he could.
Established two ruling bodies made up of representatives of the people: Council composed of four hundred members made the law and oversaw magistrates which enforced it. Appeals court for people to contest rulings they thought were unfair
He divided the citizens into four classes based on wealth, not kinship so your status was based on your success not on those you were related to.
Got rid of the severe penalties established by Dracon.
He changed the currency to facilitate trade with the East.
Nothing to be exported except olive oil and eventually wine so grain would stay in Athens to feed people.
Abolished divisions based on wealth.
He created 10 artificial tribes.
Expanded membership of the Assembly. 6000 needed for quorum.
Allowed each tribe to choose 50 members to serve in the Council of 500.
Directed Council to create agenda for the assembly so it was more orderly.
Designed chief executives – 10 generals chosen by lot.
Believed that any Athenian man could participate – an ideal of democracy.
E. Later, Clisthenes…
F. Why Didn’t Democracy Work?
The people were easily swayed.
People were greedy and wanted more territory which led to war.
The first wars against Persia were defensive and justifiable
Athens led an alliance to defend Greece against King Darius.
Afterwards, the Delian League, led by Athens, continued to exist for security, but Athens used it to expand their sphere of influence in what was known as the Athenian Empire.
Those that refused to belong or contribute money and troops were destroyed. Cities were burnt, men were killed and women/children were enslaved.
Afraid of Athenian dominance, the Spartans and other city-states started the Peloponnesian League.
Eventually the two leagues fought a series of wars which involved Persian help to Sparta, infighting (especially in the Delian League), and declining support within Athens.
Pericles of Athens maintained leadership and popular support of the people which briefly garnered a 30 year peace. Once the wars started again, Athen's position continued to falter and Pericles died of the plague.
Eventually, the Spartan army was able to besiege Athens and starve them into submission
Sparta installed an oligarchy of nobles known as the “Thirty Tyrants.” They were cruel and stripped the people of rights until they were toppled. Athens was not stable or free for centuries.
Socrates was executed for challenging the ideals of Athens.
Plato believed the people could not rule, they must be assigned to roles.
Wrote The Republic, reflecting on life of mentor.
Plato was angry over mentor’s death.
“ Philosophers must become kings…or those now called kings must…genuinely and adequately philosophize.”
People must be broken up into classes…
Leadership (preferably philosophers)
Started “The Academy” to train future leaders.
One student was Aristotle who believed the law and government needed to reflect logic in order to thwart man’s evil instincts.
Aristotle educated Alexander the Great who conquered the known world and died by 32.
Despite his Macedonian origins, Alexander absorbed Greek ideas and spread them through the Mediterranean where they influenced Rome.
III. Rome: REPUBLIC TO THE EMPIRE
A. Formation of the Republic
Cruel monarchy was removed and replaced by oligarchy.
Conquered Etruscans to the north and had too much land and people for a democracy.
Used representative government to make laws.
Republic at first used only the nobles (patricians) for offices.
Evetually after much struggle, the common people (pleibains) were allowed to hold offices as well.
1. Senate: merely a advisory body, the Senate made decrees which did not have to be followed, but were.
a. Comes from sense (old men).
b. 300 patricians (wealthy) who serve for life, eventually plebs were allowed to join.
c. Power resided there.
2. Assemblies –
a. Comitia or committees were made of all of the people.
b. Concilia or councils represented specific groups of people
c. Comitia Centuriata – made up of soldiers, elected magistrates, declared war, highest court of appeals.
d. Comitia Tributa – represented tribes of Rome, voted on laws, elected lower officials.
e. Concilium Plebis – Passed laws for plebs, elected middle officials, evetually combined with tributa.
C. Executive Branch
Quaester – financial officers
Aedile - organize the games, supervise public works.
Praetors -senior magistrates, chief law officer.
Consul - 2 for 1 year - preside over the Senate and are commanders - in – chief. They could veto each other, call the assemblies to order, and were the head of government. Could run again in ten years.
Dictator –In emergency times a man of merit could be appointed with absolute powers until the crisis abated.
Pontifex Maximus – Chief priest that presided over official ceremonies, chose calendar, members of the priesthood.
Censors - (of which there were two) was in his main duty the registrar of Rome. But he also oversaw the finances, including taxation, inspected the quality of public works and - more controversially - oversaw public morality
D. Campaigning according to Marcus Tullius Cicero…
have plenty of followers
call everyone by name
make promises, never say no.
campaign in all parts of Rome
"gleaming white," type of toga worn - it was like our business suit.
Campaigning was personal: No posters - wrote on the walls, Paid for games or food.
F. Development of the Republic 1. Patricians in the beginning controlled all offices and law. 2. Plebs were not informed and faced harsh punishment. 3. A series of revolts established a public, codified law and rights for plebs. 4. After conquering Italy, other town were given Roman citizenship. 5. Rome set its sights on Sicily, which was partially controlled by Carthage, an empire based out of Western North Africa.
G. Wars and Social Unrest 1. Carthage and Rome engaged in two wars from 264 to 146 BCE. 2. Hannibal invaded Europe, bringing a huge army with elephants, but was unable to persuade other Italians to revolt. 3. General Scipio Africanus was able to outlast and destroy Carthage. 4. Patricians received slave labor and land. 5. This caused the plebs to face unemployment and poverty.
H. Outcry and Welfare 1. Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were elected tribunes in 2 nd century BCE and wanted to redistribute patrician land. 2. They and 3,000 supporters were murdered. 3. Eventually, all Romans were exempt from taxes, were provided with food and entertainment to stop them from revolting.
I. Military Influence 1. Generals Marius and Sulla used the military to control the Senate. 2. Marius rules first and allows landless men to join, increasing his popularity. 3. Sulla took over when he died, and increased the size of the Senate and limited veto powers.
J. Slavery and Power 1. Spartacus, a gladiator, revolted and was followed by 70,000 others. 2. Generals Crassus and Pompey eventually defeated him after heavy losses. Many were crucified. 3. Crassus had success to the east, Pompey rid the sea of pirates and a new general conquered Gaul (Caesar). 4. Together, they shared power in the Triumvirate .
H. Balance Turns to Dictatorship
Crassus is killed in the East when liquid hot gold is poured down his throat.
Caesar becomes very wealthy and shares wealth with the plebs.
Pompey becomes suspicious, especially when his wife Julia (Caesar’s daughter) does in childbirth.
Nobility and Senate side with Pompey.
Cato, Scipio (a descendant of the general), and Cicero fear Caesar will make himself king and order him to give up his legions.
Caesar believes they acted illegally and brings his army into Italy which is illegal.
Pompey and many nobles flee, eventually to Greece where they raise an army.
Expenses and desertion wear down Pompey and Senators switch sides.
Cicero and young Brutus switch, Cato and Scipio commit suicide.
He flees to Egypt, but Ptolemy XIII has him beheaded.
Caesar is outraged that barbarians have killed a former Consul of Rome and have the leadership of Egypt killed.
He appoints his lover Cleopatra as Pharaoh and they have a son Cesarean.
Caesar returns to Rome where his given dictators powers.
He appoints many plebs to the Senate and expands the welfare roles.
He is eventually assassinated by a group of Senators led by Brutus and Cassius.
I. Dissolution of Republic
Mark Anthony, Caesar’s young general-apprentice inherits his popularity.
Nephew Octavian inherits his fortune.
A truce is offered to Brutus and Cassius, but they must leave the city.
Anthony and Octavian quarrel, but unite with noble general Lepidus in the Second Triumvirate to attack Brutus and Cassius.
The murderers are annihilated along with their supporters in Rome, including Cicero.
Eventually Lepidus is demoted because of corruption, and Anthony and Octavian start fighting again.
Anthony flees to Egypt, begins an affair with Cleopatra, and holds back grain from Rome.
He makes a will promising his children with Cleopatra parts of the Republic and Cesarean Rome itself.
The people are outraged.
K. Roman Empire
Augustus (nephew of Cesar) defeats Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.
Augustus rules from 27 BC to 14 AD and successfully organizes “republic”
Takes on title of “head magistrate.”
Relatives (by blood and adoption) assume thrown of “Caesar.”
Some are undeserving, many assassinations.
Persecution of Christians occurs.
Ruled till 96 AD.
Hand picked successors bring prosperity for a century.
L. Decline of the Empire
Murder, corruption and military rule happen intermittently.
Christianity becomes official religion.
The Empire is split into West and East (Byzantine) 260 AD.
The West falls to German Barbarians around 400 AD
The East falls to Muslim Turks around 1453 AD.
M. Dark Ages and Feudalism.
Fear and anarchy is replaced by local warlords.
Eventually, they gather strength and land.
The most powerful require allegiance from the weak and becomes monarchs.
The poor work on land and supply crops or taxes.
IV. English Constitutionalism
A. Monarchy's Early Limitations.
France develops into an absolute rule, based on “divine right of kings.”
King John of England attempts the same, but a revolt leads to the Magna Carta (1215) which protects the rights of lower nobles and towns.
King Henry VIII tries to regain power by taking charge of the Church of England when the Pope will not grant a divorce. He does get approval from Parliament.
His Protestant son, Edward VI dies young.
His Catholic daughter Mary I tries to bring the nation back to Rome.
When she dies, her Protestant sister, Elizabeth I has to unite the nation.
In order to do so, she must win the favour of Parliament.
Gets them to pass legislation to provide a unified Church of England.
B. Dissention and War
James (of the Stuart family)- believed in Divine right of kings
Hated to ask Parliament for the money to finance his war plans.
Left a bad relationship between monarchy and Parliament.
His son Charles assumed the thrown, had a Catholic wife.
Parliament was divided between House of Commons and Lords.
Continually fought with Parliament, dismissed them many times.
Needed money for land grabs in France and to quell rebellions in Scotland.
When Parliament is recalled, they ask him to sign the Petition of Rights.
No taxes without Parliament’s consent.
King could not life habeas corpus.
No housing or troops without consent of owners.
No martial law in peacetime.
Two groups evolve:
Puritan Roundheads (supporters of the House of Commons).
The two sides fought in the English Civil War.
C. Constitutionalism Results…
England erupts into Civil War (1642 -1651) when Charles I dismisses Parliament for not raising taxes.
Puritan Parliament revolts and demands concessions from King.
Puritan Roundheads win and Oliver Cromwell is new brutal leader (their side won thanks to his brilliant military strategy).
Charles I is decapitated.
People decide Puritan rule is too rough.
Charles II is brought back to rule, but powers are limited.
Grant a general pardon to those who had killed his father.
Not question religion.
Pay a standing army (stabilizing force)
Let all land confiscated or sold during the Commonwealth be decided by Parliament.
His brother James II rules and many believe he is a closet Catholic.
Parliament invites Protestant cousin Mary and her husband to rule.
James II flees with virtually no violence in what is known as the “Glorious Revolution.”
C. Constitutionalism results continued
10. William and Mary agree to the English Bill of Rights.
Parliament control of taxes.
The right to petition the king.
No standing army was to be used against the people.
Protestants had the right to bear arms.
Freedom of Speech and Debates.
Freedom to elect members of Parliament.
All future monarchs had to be Protestant.
Monarchy and House of Lords continually lost power from this point.