Earth and Its Peoples: Chapter 4 Political Questionnaire

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Earth and its peoples: Chapter 4

Political Theme

a) Who had political power?

The primary locus of political power was initially located in Persia, given the strength of leaders such as Darius and Xerxes. However, despite the fact they were relatively resource-poor, gradually the Greek city-states begin to grow in influence.

b) How did leaders get power to govern?

Political systems were relatively diverse at this time, in terms of comparing the Greek city-states and Persia. Iran was led by a dynasty of monarchical leaders. Many of the city-states were led by kings, by oligopolies (as in the case of Sparta), or democracies (in the case of Athens).

c) How did people or groups maintain or keep power?

Power was either maintained by force, as in the case of the Persian monarchs who had tremendous wealth, power, and influence, or through a combination of force and skillful managing of political factions, as in the case of the early leaders of Greece. These tyrants were members of the aristocracy.

d) How was power divided?

Not even Athens was a true democracy in the way that we, in the West, would approve of. Women and non-citizens had no rights in the government, and slavery was common everywhere.

e) What type of government was in control?

Government was 'by the few' in the case of oligarchies and monarchies, and by the many in the case of Athens -- but only by the select 'many.'

f) How were laws made?

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Leaders such as Solon were known as great law-makers, but eventually in Athens, political governance became institutional in nature: "Pericles and his political allies took the last steps in the evolution of Athenian democracy, transferring all power to popular organs of government: the Assembly, Council of 500, and People's Courts. From that time on, men of moderate or little means could hold office and participate in the political process," and men were selected by lot to fulfill political offices (110).

g) List all other relevant information relating to the political theme

TOPIC: Questionnaire on Earth and Its Peoples: Chapter 4 Political Assignment

Profound differences of government occurred during this time. A split began to clearly emerge between Persia and Greece, and between the Greek city-states.

h) Write 4- 6 sentences discussing the overall political theme (can be a discussion of new ideas, continuation of old ideas, or significant historical changes within the theme for this chapter. Pick the one that is most relevant to this theme.

For the first time, rights-based democracy became common currency. This was not simply rough, tribal democracy, but formal, institutional democracy. Athens was not perfect. However, its ideas were to profoundly change the course of human history.

2. Social Structures / Gender Roles Theme

a) What was the social structure of the period?

Social structures were segmented, and patriarchal even in Athens.

b) How were different groups treated? Women, children, citizen, non-citizen, slaves?

In Athens, women were entirely disenfranchised politically, and relegated to the home. Ironically, in militant Sparta, women had slightly more cultural capital, given the fact that they were valued as the mothers of sons and future warriors. However, in all of the Greek city-states, because of their profound ethnocentrism, being a citizen was paramount, and there was tremendous hostility to non-citizens and foreigners. Slavery was an accepted part of life.

c) Who was educated?

Greek women did not receive a formal education, and even in democratic Athens, wealth enabled the children of aristocratic men and women to obtain better tutoring, although many lower-class individuals did seek out… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Earth and Its Peoples: Chapter 4 Political.  (2011, October 13).  Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

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