In the United States, citizens elect people who represent them in government. However, in ancient Greece, the people voted directly for the policies of their government.


  • The ancient Greeks are credited with inventing democracy as a form of government. Demos kratos literally translates to “people power.”

    The United States government is based on an idea of a democracy where people have power—but citizens do not actually vote on every issue. Rather, they elect people (representatives) who vote on matters for them. This is different than the direct democracy of Athens.

    Do you think a democracy in which everything is voted on by every citizen is possible where you live?

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ancient Greece Noun

    loosely united civilization founded on and around the Peloponnese peninsula, lasting from about the 8th century BCE to about 200 BCE.

    democracy Noun

    system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

    elect Verb

    to choose by vote.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    politician Noun

    person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.

    representative Noun

    someone or something who acts in place of a group of people.