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SOCIAL STUDIES DIARY

The Inauguration

The inauguration of 2021 reminds me of the historical events that ended the first Athenian democracy. The Athenians were a democracy and they eventually were at war with the Spartans (conservatives). To protect Athens from the Spartans the Athenians build a huge wall system around Athens that reached all the way to the port of Piraeus. Sparta controlled the hinder land with a strong land army, while Athen turned to form the Delian League, which at first comprised of a volunteered alliance cities and islands. In general, the Athens were fearful of fighting the Spartans, the Athenian attempted to become a great naval power. Because of the war, the Athenians moved the treasury from Delos to Athens and refused to allow their former allies to withdraw from the Delian League. They, thereby, turned from a democracy to totalitarians force, once they gained power, But the foolish leaders of the democracy overreached as they attempted to defeat Sparta by sea and the main Athenian fleet was totally destroyed in attempting to take the Sicilian city of Syracuse, which was a colony of the Corinthians. The Athenians clung to the claim of being a democracy, but they punished anyone that stood up against their outrageous decision making and ordered the execution of Socrates. If interested see my book: City-State Civism in Ancient Athen. History does not repeat itself, but there are some interesting parallels.

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