There are quite a few differences between Sparta and Athens. One difference was in their government. In Athens, the government was rule by archons who were elected each year. Our government is pattered after Athens which is known as the "birthplace of democracy" because they elected their own officials and were not in place until death. In Sparta, the government was ruled by two kings who were the rulers until they died.
Culture and life was also different. In Sparta, the focus was on obedience to leaders and becoming a warring state. Slavery was very common and helped free young men from household and industrial duties. As a result, boys from the Spartan state were able to focus completely on military training and fighting. The boys were trained to be warriors and women were trained to be mothers.
Athen's culture was completely different however. Athens focused on becoming a creative state. An Athenian was able to get a good education and one was able to choose a variety of subjects to study whether it be art or science. Boys could choose to serve in the navy or army; it was not required. as a creative wonderland. As an Athenian, you could get a good education and could pursue any of several kinds of arts or sciences.