What are some similarities and differences between government in archaic Greece and in the modern United States?

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Ancient Greece was a collection of city states with diverse systems of government. In general, however, several qualities can be ascribed to many of the Greek states.

Many states, including Athens, used a form of direct democracy centered on periodic assemblies of the entire body politic, or enfranchised citizenry (generally meaning free, adult males). The assemblies were solely responsible for the enactment of laws, a system directly comparable to the town meeting system of municipal government used in parts of New England, and indirectly similar to the process of initiative and referendum enshrined in the constitutions of many U.S. states.

The system of direct...

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