After 449 B.C.E., Athens and Sparta went

After the Persian War between 540 B.C.E. and 449 B.C.E., Athens and Sparta went through many changes. Athens and Sparta tried to remain allies after defeating the Persians, and they formed the Delian League. Pericles rose up as Athen’s ruler and led Athens through a time period of advancement, however it left Sparta out of its Golden Age. Their time of unity was short-lived and Athens and Sparta slowly evolved to become their own separate city-states. Greece faced different conditions that led both Greek city-states through military, governmental, and economic changes. The Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta, went through governmental changes due to their varying conditions. After the Persians War, Pericles rose up as the leader of Athens and changed the city-state’s dynamics. Pericles was a brilliant general, speaker, and politician. He also promoted the arts and allowed writers, philosophers to freely share their thinking. “Pericles promoted the arts, literature, and philosophy and gave free reign to some of the most inspired writers and thinkers of his time.” (www.ancient.eu). This shows that since Pericles supported arts, philosophy, and literature, as well as giving free reign, Athens became more beautiful, and helped people of Athens have more freedom. Pericles allowed the people more freedoms than previous rulers, which is how Athens became democratic. He created a body of citizens and gave them political freedoms to create a government unlike any other. As Athens was becoming a democracy, Sparta’s government was not as politically free. Sparta remained a militant city-state but had aspects of democracy. so promoted the arts and allowed writers, philosophers to freely share their thinking. Unlike Athens, the women in Sparta had more political freedoms because they ran the city-state while the men were off to battle. Sparta refused to make their government more democratic and instead placed an unusual social structure of government. “Two kings ruled the city, but a 28-member ‘council of elders’ limited their powers.” (pbs.org). This shows that Sparta had an extremely unusual governmental system since they had two kings, as well as a council of elders which contained 28 members.During the Golden Age of Pericles, Athens became the center of education, art, architecture, philosophy, and democracy. One of the important reforms that helped Athens become more democratic is Pericles’ policy of rebuilding and beautifying Athens. This was opposed vigorously by many because they used the Delian League’s money. The extra money they had was invested in “a massive cultural flowering of art, poetry, philosophy, and architecture.” (richard-hooker.com). This shows that Pericles focused a lot on attempting to beautify Athens, rather than saving the money in the event of a war breaking out. Athens slowly became stronger, more powerful, and their prestige grew slowly as well. This was happening because Persia and Sparta were at a state of peace, thus, Athens had more time to grow its government and society. Pericles allowed more freedoms and promoted philosophical thinking and art. “He worked to democratize the fine arts by subsidizing theater admission for poorer citizens and enabled civic participation by offering pay for jury duty and other civil services.” (history.com). This shows how Pericles has improved Athens’ government, arts, literature, philosophy, and economy. Athens has grown enormously under Pericles’ reign during their golden age.  This scared Sparta, and they slowly started to feel threatened. Before Sparta became a strong military city-state, it had a very weak government and experienced a political/social unrest between the 7th and 8th centuries. During the 5th and 6th centuries, all of Greece was vulnerable and went through two major invasions by the Persians. During the Persian War, Sparta lost all their men during the first invasion. Sparta and Athens then became allies to help defeat the Persians. After the Persian war, Athens and Sparta united to form the Delian League. Sparta, however, became isolated and did not trust Athens and the Delian League to be enough protection from further invasions. While Athens had a period of prosperity, called the Golden Age, Sparta felt threatened by their growth and lost their trust in them. There is a Spartan legend that someone named Lycurgus helped Sparta become more militaristic and have a government based on a strong army. There was a lower class that was used as slaves and farmers to provide them with food during times of war. Sparta primarily focused on training to become talented warriors.All in all, Greece faced different conditions that led both Greek city-states through military, governmental, and economic changes. Greek city-states moved democracy due to Pericles’ reforms, thus making Athens the birthplace of democracy. Athens became democratic through reforms that focused on beautifying Athens, as well as focusing on the growth of a strong government, and economy. The conditions that led to the development of a strong military government in Sparta involved their fear of future invasions, especially by the rapidly developed Athens. Due to the leadership of Lycurgus Sparta became more militaristic and formed a government based on a strong army. In conclusion, Greek city-states experienced many conditions that eventually led to military, governmental, and economic changes.

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