What was Democracy like over 2400 years ago in ancient Athens
Athens and Democracy - An Introduction - …
It was under this political system that Athens successfully resisted the Persian onslaughts of 490 and 480/79, most conspicuously at the battles of Marathon and Salamis. That victory in turn encouraged the poorest Athenians to demand a greater say in the running of their city, and in the late 460s Ephialtes and Pericles presided over a radicalisation of power that shifted the balance decisively to the poorest sections of society. This was the democratic Athens that won and lost an empire, that built the Parthenon, that gave a stage to Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, and that laid the foundations of western rational and critical thought.
History of Greece: Athenian Democracy
Cleisthenes was the son of an Athenian, but the grandson and namesake of a foreign Greek tyrant, the ruler of Sicyon in the Peloponnese. For a time he was also the brother-in-law of the Athenian tyrant, Peisistratus, who seized power three times before finally establishing a stable and apparently benevolent dictatorship. It was against the increasingly harsh rule of Peisistratus's eldest son that Cleisthenes championed a radical political reform movement which in 508/7 ushered in the Athenian democratic constitution.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle - Shippensburg University
The origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon, who flourished in the years around 600 BC. Solon was a poet and a wise statesman but not - contrary to later myth - a democrat. He did not believe in people-power as such. But it was Solon's constitutional reform package that laid the basis on which democracy could be pioneered almost 100 years later by a progressive aristocrat called Cleisthenes.