Chapter

National Defense: Democracy Defeated

Loren J. Samons II

in What's Wrong with Democracy?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236608
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940901 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236608.003.0007
National Defense: Democracy Defeated

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Having survived the Persian invasions and the Peloponnesian War, few Athenians seem to have worried that Athens might actually come under a foreign power's sway. In terms of leadership, fourth-century Athens seems to have found itself at something of a disadvantage when compared with the fifth-century polis. The Athenians' willingness to prosecute and condemn their own commanders had begun to take a toll on Athens' military efficiency at least as early as the 420s. The great crisis Athens faced around midcentury is discussed. The chapter specifically addresses the rise of Macedon and the end of Athenian democracy. To those who see Macedon's triumph as inevitable, the Athenian demos and Athens' leaders bear little responsibility for the loss of their independent government. Athenian democratic politics deserves to be analyzed carefully as one of the reasons for Macedon's success.

Keywords: national defense; Persian invasions; Peloponnesian War; Macedon; Athenian democratic politics; Athens

Chapter.  8511 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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