Citizenship is ever changing; it changes from culture to culture, state to state, country to county. The idea of citizenship has evolved over history to include aspects of many cultures. In this paper we will give an overview and talk about different aspects of citizenship from the past and how it influences our idea of citizenship today. Citizenship is an evolving beast which has yet to reach its full potential.
We start in Greek citizenship with the two most important terms, Politeia and Polis. Politeia held dual meaning for the Greeks: citizenship, and constitution. About education states, “Polis (plural, poleis) was the ancient Greek city-state. The word for politics comes from this Greek word.” (History, 2014) The Greeks held these two terms closely together because, it was relative of the constitution. The right to citizenship was different between social classes, social classes determined the constitution of the state and the form of government. “The polis of Athens, the largest of the Greek poleis, was the birthplace of democracy. Aristotle saw the household "oikos" as the basic social unit of the polis”, according to J. Roy.( Polis' and 'Oikos)
To be considered a Greek citizen, you needed to be born in Greek society.(i.e. have parents whom they themselves were Greek citizens). A good many of the city-states gave slaves the opportunity to become citizens (except for Sparta). In Rome, all people who were free and lived inside the borders of the Roman Empire were considered citizens; although this was the case there were exceptions. In the early years of the empire the Romans held citizenship as a closely guarded treasure that was not to be spread, but before the empire fell in 426ad romans made great strides to make all citizens a citizen, from Italy to all the conquered countries. To the Romans the widespread distribution of citizenship led to a dilution of the meaning of what it was to be a Roman citizen. This was...