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Greek Guide to Greatness – Episode 4: Democracy

The U.S. is a democracy right? Well, the inventors of Democracy might disagree… Our system of government got its start in ancient Athens, and democracy was a lot different back then. Each Greek citizen (just males) voted not on who would represent them, but on the issues themselves. Imagine that in the U.S. today: 300 million plus men and women voting on each and every political issue. Could it work? We might have the technology to do it now, but while America’s founding fathers recognized the potential in this novel system of government, they were also wary of mob rule. Is there a danger in giving too much power to the people … or is that just what we need right now? There’s still much to be learned from that first democratic experiment in ancient Greece.


The National Hellenic Society is an association of visionary Greek American leaders dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and promoting Greece’ s rich heritage with an emphasis on the next generation. The organization’s innovative programs are designed to engage, and inspire its members, families, and communities.

National Geographic and the National Hellenic Society have produced a companion digital series, The Greek Guide to Greatness, that’s available on the PBS and National Geographic websites in addition to below.


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