What Kind of Government Was Started in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece is known for many things, including its remarkable contributions to philosophy, literature, and art. However, one of the most significant legacies of ancient Greece is its political system.

The ancient Greeks were the first to establish a democratic form of government in the world. In this article, we will explore what kind of government was started in Ancient Greece.

The Origins of Greek Government

The ancient Greeks lived in small city-states that were politically independent from one another. Each city-state had its own unique form of government. Some were ruled by kings or tyrants, while others were oligarchies or democracies.

The earliest form of Greek government was a monarchy. In a monarchy, a single ruler, usually a king or queen, held all the power and made all the decisions for the people. However, over time, many Greeks began to question this system and sought new forms of government that would give them more power and influence.

The Rise of Democracy

Around 500 BCE, Athens became one of the first city-states in Greece to adopt a democratic form of government. In a democracy, all citizens have equal rights and are able to participate in the decision-making process through voting and other means.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone was considered a citizen in ancient Greece. Women and slaves were excluded from participating in politics and did not have any say in how their city-state was run.

The Athenian Democracy

The Athenian democracy was far from perfect but still managed to set an example for future democracies around the world. The Athenian Assembly was responsible for making decisions on behalf of the people. All male citizens over the age of 18 had the right to attend these meetings and vote on important issues.

In addition to the Assembly, Athens also had a Council that served as an advisory body to help govern the city-state. The Council was made up of 500 citizens who were chosen by lot to serve for one year.

The Legacy of Ancient Greek Government

The democratic government that started in Ancient Greece has had a lasting impact on the world. Many modern democracies, including the United States, have been influenced by the ideas and principles that originated in ancient Greece.

The Greeks believed that all citizens should have a voice in their government and that decisions should be made through open debate and discussion. This idea still resonates today, as many people believe that democracy is the best form of government for ensuring freedom and equality for all citizens.


In conclusion, ancient Greece was the birthplace of democracy and set an important precedent for future governments around the world. While their system was far from perfect, it still managed to inspire generations of thinkers who sought to create a more just and equitable society. Today, we continue to look back on ancient Greece with admiration for their contributions to politics and philosophy.