The word democracy and the concept it represents can be credited to the Greeks of the sixth century BC. Democracy literally means “rule by the people” (Pious). The Greek system of democracy was perhaps closer to a true democracy than any other witnessed in history. The Greeks viewed dictatorship as the worst form of government so they evolved a form of government exactly the opposite (Eric, Rankin, Baird, 1999).
Their civilization was broken down into many city states (never more than 10,000 citizens), and all the eligible citizens (land holding men) were allowed to vote on all the key issues of the government. A point to note is that there were no representatives in the Greek system instead they ruled themselves directly and each man was a life long member of the decision making body (Eric, Rankin, Baird, 1999). This concept of direct democracy is reflected in the early American Colonies in the New England Town- meeting of Massachusetts and other colonies in which the male membership of a town assembled to decide upon important issues of governance.
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