Primary Source: Aristotle-The Athenian Constitution
Demes were local neighborhoods that were doubted to be created by Cleisthenes, but rather made the basis of his reforms and the root of political organization. As the number of citizens expanded, the demes became more deme-ocratic (democracy).
Describe how Cliesthenes “beat” Isagoras and Cleomenes.
Cliesthenes won over the people with promises of more citizen rights. He was exiled with his followers by Isagoras and Cleomenes, who then tried to dissolve the Counccil to set up Isagoras as the authority. The Council resisted and the people were against this idea, and bore arms. Cleomenes and Isagoras holed themselves up in the Acropolis while the peipie outside blockaded them and besieged them for a few days. Cliesthenes and his fellow exiles were allowed back in, and Cleisethenes was set up as head of the popular political party.
What is a tribe and how do tribal laws/practices take shape?
A “tribe” was a grouping of different demes, or local neighborhoods. A modern comparison would most likely be a county or a state (in the United States). Laws are not just our own family laws, laws are also the laws of the land, this concept that you must also follow the rules of the society in which you live in. These laws developed over time. Athenians developed democracy because they already had fundamental practices in place, like territorial sovereignty (above), a system of governance, citizenship, and politics.
What advantage did Cleisthenes gain by increasing the number of tribes in Athens from four to ten?
By increasing the number of tribes in Athens from four to ten, he was able to break clan loyalties. People who lived in any particular deme were called demesmen, and men were referred to by the name of their deme instead of familial names. They therefore had loyalty not to their previous clans, but to their deme and their tribe, as well as Athens (Greece) itself.