In ancient Greece, all citizens could participate in politics and vote on issues. The main exception was women, who did not have the right to vote or be elected until the 20th century.
In ancient Greece, there was no one leader who made all political decisions for everyone else like today’s presidents do in modern democracies around the world.
The earliest known example of direct democracy is Athens during its Golden Age (fifth century BC). Athens had a council called the Areopagus, which included members from all parts of society. It also had an assembly (the Ecclesia), which was open to all citizens at least 30 years old (perhaps even older). The people could speak freely and vote on important issues such as war and peace. They met to discuss issues concerning their community such as public works projects or wars against nearby enemies like Persia or Sparta.
The ancient Greek government was based on the principles of equality and justice. The assembly was open to all male citizens over the age of 18. The council was made up of 500 men who served as judges in lawsuits between citizens and also advised the King. The council also had authority over foreign policy.
Their government did not restrict voting rights based on gender, wealth or skin color. It also provided equal protection under the law for all citizens.