The Limitations in Greek Citizenship and Democracy

             According to most present-day historians that focus on the political
             and social realms of ancient Greece, the implementation of the concept of
             citizenship as the basis for the city-state (polis) and the extension of
             citizen status to all free-born members of the community is most closely
             related to the Athenians who desired to form a free society in the ancient
             world with democracy as its foundation. In Athens, citizenship carried
             certain legal rights, such as access to courts to resolve disputes,
             protection against enslavement by kidnapping and participation in the
             religious and cultural life of the polis. It also implied participation in
             politics, although the degree of participation open to the poorest men
             varied among different city-states. The ability to hold office, for
             example, could be limited in some cases to owners of a certain amount of
             property or wealth. But most importantly, citizen status distinguished free
             men and women from slaves and foreigners; thus, even the poor had a
             distinction that set themselves apart from these groups that were not given
             There were also other limitations in regard to Athenian citizenship,
             for the incompleteness of the equality that under laid the political
             structure of the polis was most prominent as to status of citizen women who
             generally had an identity, social status and local rights that were denied
             slaves and foreigners. Citizen women had access to courts in disputes over
             property and other legal matters, but they could not represent themselves
             and had to have men speak for their interests, a requirement that reveals
             their inequality under the law. in contrast, all male citizens, regardless
             eventually entitled to attend, speak in, and cast a vote in the communal
             assemblies in which policy decisions for the polis were made and drafte

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