What effect has ancient Greece had on modern (American and European) politics?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major impact that ancient Greece has had on politics in modern day Europe and America comes from the political set up of the city-state of Athens.  Athens was the first real democracy in the history of the world.  Because of this, and because of the fact that Greek was one of the languages of classical learning, the Greek ideal of democracy was passed down to political thinkers in Europe and then in what became the United States.  The Athenian democracy was not, of course, anything like modern Western democracies.  It was more of a direct democracy and lacked the personal freedoms the West now affords all members of a society.  Even so, the Athenian democracy inspired the people who made Western nations into the democracies that they now are.