Ancient Greece for Kids: Government

Ancient Greece for Kids: Government


The Parthenon. Photo by Mountain

History >> Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may be most famous for their ideas and philosophies on government and politics. It was in Greece, and particularly Athens, that democracy was first conceived and used as a primary form of government.

The Greek City-State

Ancient Greece was made up of city-states. A city-state was a major city and the surrounding areas. Each city-state had its own rule and government. Sometimes the city-states fought each other. Athens and Sparta were the two largest city-states and they had many wars and battles.

Types of Government

There were three main types of government:

  • Democracy – A government ruled by the people, or assembly. Officials and leaders were elected and all citizens had a say.
  • Monarchy – A single ruler like a king. In Athens this ruler was called a Tyrant.
  • Oligarchy
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US Government for Kids

US Government for Kids

The United States first started to form a government at the First Continental Congress. However, it was during the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776 that the United States declared its independence from the British Empire. Thomas Jefferson, together with other founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, wrote the Declaration of Independence. It stated that all people have “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Many of these rights are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments of the Constitution. More amendments were added later to improve on the rights of the people, including abolishing slavery and the right for all people to vote regardless of gender or race.


In 1788, the United States’ Constitution was officially ratified. The constitution became the highest form of law in the country.

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