Athens: Democracy Rises

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Reforms had been but in place now from some important figures such as Draco and Solon. Though they would not be enough to see democracy emerge and take hold just yet. The political front in Athens at this stage was looking very unstable with periods of anarchy, almost leading to civil war breaking out. This would see the type of leader emerge that had threatened to earlier, the tyrant.

Factions were now forming around the geographical areas of Attica which fell roughly in line with the different demographics of the regions. From one of these factions emerged a leader who would become the first successful tyrant to take power in Athens. Though, it would take three attempts to successfully remain in power. Peisistratus would be Athens’ first tyrant, but not in a despotic sense, his rule would be seen move favourable than the previous leaders.

Once Peisistratus’ rule came to a natural end, his sons would take control seamlessly continuing the tyranny. After a long period of stability in Athens, assassination would see the tyranny take on a darker side. The surviving son, Hippias would become the despotic ruler we all now associate with the word tyrant today. Eventually Hippias would be removed with some outside help from Sparta.

 

Faction fighting would continue to plague Athens, though another leader, Cleisthenes would emerge. Under his leadership Athens would see many institutions and ideas further evolve and develop that would at the heart of a democratic system. Democracy as a political system was now rising in Athens.