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What was a major impact of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Western Civilization?

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Quick Answer

A major impact of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Western Civilization can be seen in the United States and many other Western governments in the democratic process. The democratic process in Western civilizations is a direct result of the original democracy, Athenian democracy.

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Democracy comes from the Greek word "demokratia," which means "rule by the people," and was introduced by an Athenian leader in 507 B.C. In this first democracy, the rule was split into three bodies much like the three United States governmental branches. The first body created the laws and ruled over foreign policy. The second body was a council that was created by people from different tribes, and the third body was a court system that allowed people to bring cases in front of jurors that were selected randomly from the citizen population.

This democracy that was present in Athens did more than set a standard ideology that many Western civilizations would adopt later on. It also developed the idea of what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. The people were all expected to participate in current affairs by voting, by serving within the government and military as well as recognizing that all the people had equal rights. The Romans adopted this democratic process after the Greeks. This idea of the citizen's role in a nation stems from this Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman way of life.

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