HMST 296 Lecture notes

HMST 296 Lecture notes - HMST 296 Humanistic Studies I...

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HMST 296 Humanistic Studies I Professor F Sept. 3 Lecture 2 Intro to Plato’s Republic Athens: Metics o Involved in trade (had economic clout) but did not have citizenship status – excluded from the decision-making process Slaves o No rights, fought in the army Women o Involvement in burial ritual No naturalization process in Athens o Both parents had to Athenians; there were 10 tribes in the city, and at the age of 18 a father enrolled his son in a tribe. This could be challenged in court by tribal members. For citizens: o Ability to participate in rituals and cults. Note: there are no private spheres. o Ability to attend, speak, and vote in the Assembly. Isegoria (equality of speaking) o Allowed to serve as a juror. Athenians had a fetish for juries. o Allowed to vote and serve as magistrates. o Capacity to own land. (main form of wealth) o Promised protection of the law (slaves did not have this status; women had it in certain parameters, Metics did in some aspects as well.
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Isonomia (equality under the law) o Ability to receive welfare payments o Burial at state expense if one was a warrior From 18-20 Athenian men did military training, at 20 they could participate politically in the Assembly Assembly o Composed of the whole body of citizens o Met around 40 times a year on a hillside where, at most, 6000 people could attend → only those with leisure time and the interest in politics would make policy (as time went on, the society thus became less democratic) o Had final say over matters of welfare and peace, forming of alliances, direct taxes (they didn’t have income tax; they had irregular lad taxes – most taxes were on import and exports) o Voting proceeded by a show of hands → an inaccurate way. They tried to congregate citizens around a person who had a position on an issue. Not the most technically efficient way of running things. o NOTE: Direct participatory democracy (in its purest form) → no representative democracy Council of 500 o With 40 000 citizens in Athens, the Council would set the agenda for the Assembly o Met with foreign embassies o Had oversight of the magistrates o Control over the city’s finances o Managed public property o Control of taxation Taxes were collected by private contractors (the contractors were instructed on the amount the Council needed – anything extra the contractor could keep)
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o Control of the fleet and arsenal o They did not express an opinion on issues within the agenda o Choosing the Council: 10 tribes put up 50 people to each year to serve Every tribe got one month per year to be the leading executives of the Council (10 month calendar) Every day, a different member of the tribe got to be leader of the council for the day → chosen by ‘sortition’ (random lottery) to offset nepotism – undue influence Courts o Drew upon an annual pool of 6000 potential jurors o Cases were given by lottery o Decided whether decisions were constitutional
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HMST 296 Lecture notes - HMST 296 Humanistic Studies I...

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