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Athenian Democracy Began With Shaking Off Debt Burdens


Solon of Athens, the Father of Democracy

In Ancient Athens, the establishment of the world’s firstĀ  democracy began with Solon’s drafting of a constitution which legislated a law known as “the shaking off of burdens”, the ending of Draconian laws of debt slavery.

Today Greece is again mired in a economic and moral crisis not unlike that which faced the ancient city-state of Athens in 594 B.C.E.

If you have the desire to see an economic recovery rather than a repeatĀ  great depression or world war, it would benefit you to study economic history from an ethical perspective and consider the parallels between our present global economic crisis and the ancient economic crisis in Athens. Then as now Athenians were oppressed by unpayable debt. Solon came up with a solution : a “shaking off of burdens”, his name for a debt cancellation that established the first Democracy in history. Continue reading