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Pericles of Athens was in a family that no one would think reform came out of. Pericles family had dignity, valor, power, and wealth. Pericles family was aristocrats. Pericles grew up an a noble man with respect, but no one at the time knew how he was to change the world forever.
Many things happened in Pericles life but I think the most important was his love for a woman not of Greek blood. Since this women was not a Greek she couldn t vote. When Pericles had a child with her he was more upset because his beloved son couldn t love. He spent his life working on laws that made it so he was a Greek citizen or could vote. Pericles named off many attributes to being a great leader. These things are: politician, democrat, soldier, imperialist, peacemaker, visionary, educator, statesman, crisis manager, strategist, and hero.
Politician s can be important in every democratic country. Pericles was a great politician, though he got off to a rough start. His first speak was in front of six thousand people and many of them thought he looked like a tyrant. Many people didn t like what he said. Pericles pressed on. He was an amazing man that could speak. Even one of his enemies said When I wrestle him to the ground said says it isn t so and convinces everyone to believe him. Politics is to get along and make deals. Politicians always have to be aware of the peoples voice because they can bring him down fast then anyone.
Democrats Pericles thought were important too. As a democrat he gave more power to the lower class and helped out the average farmer. Pericles helped make their constitution, the popular courts, and everything was done by a simple majority rule. To be a democracy you have to give all constitutional and political protection.
Pericles thought you had to be a great soldier to be a great leader. Pericles was on the General s council in Athens where ten people are elected for one year. Pericles thought that soldiers were important because under attack they would be leaders, and also help in the fight. He knew what to do when Sparta was at their beckoning. Sparta was their archenemy. I think that Pericles thought soldiers were important because of the attacks Athens has seen. The Persian s and the Spartan s just wanted to destroy them. The wars were getting out of hand in Greece. You have Corinth attacking its neighbors and Athens sticking up for them and Sparta on the side of Corinth.
Imperialist can important when running a country as well. Pericles put an end to imperial expansion. He wanted Athens to be civilized with no wars but still be able to protect itself. I think that Imperialism is a good idea when swift measures are needed. When war comes you don t have time to vote. That s when people need a leader like Pericles to stand up and lead. Sometimes I think Pericles acted imperialistic because of his family background. When it was time to take charge Pericles was the man that stood up and opened doors for his people.
Pericles was a peacemaker by all respects. Pericles didn t like to fight. When Cimon died he make a treaty with the Persians to stop the war. Pericles wanted to war with Sparta either. His great plan was to build an empire that was small enough that their strong navy could defend it. He just wanted peace. He knew wars would destroy their state if it kept going.
Visionaries let the country be powerful for generations to come and Pericles again was the countries man for that too. It seems whatever Pericles did turned to gold. Pericles said fight only when we need to otherwise it will be our downfall and he was right. Pericles made a constitution to try to make it so tyrants couldn t overpower the republic. He saw the problems with tyrants and knew that s not what Athens needed. He was also very good at not stepping on anyone s toes.
Pericles was very good in education. He was taught by some of the best teachers of his day. Pericles was a master at his language. He knew how to talk to people. He knew what the masses wanted to hear at all times and that s what he told them. Everyone loved him because he also had the schooling to do what he said. Pericles got things done and I think that without school he wouldn t be the man that he became. Pericles saw the artists start to blossom all at once and he let it flourish. Soon the city was covered with amazing statues like Athena and boundless buildings. The city was truly beautiful.
Statesman ruled the streets in Athens. People like Pericles were giving speeches and helping the people. He went to Persia and was giving a peacock. He had many friends and historians know very much about his friends. Pericles was not like a Normal man. Most men met their friends at the gym and drinking wine, but not Pericles. To talked to his friends during business hours. He looked at their artwork and architecture. They helped him make decisions. Pericles thought very highly of his friends and so did Athens. Many of his friends through him rose to power. Other of his friends he met while in power with them.
Pericles was a crisis manager. Even in times of great troubles he persuaded the masses to do the right thing and fight for what he believed in. When people felt like they were in trouble Pericles was the first one there to tell them it s all right. I think that Pericles loved to take charge. Pericles never got worried. He would use trade embargoes to hurt countries and also make sure his allies were strong in the west before starting wars such as with Corinth.
Many strategists lived in Athens but none was better then Pericles. Pericles had a strategy for everything. When Sparta wanted to liberate Greece Pericles was the man with a plan. Everything he did was part of a larger plan to bring Athens more greatness.
The last is a hero. Kagan thought Pericles was a hero. There are many different forms of heroes in the world. Pericles is a hero to the U.S. for starting democracy and he was a hero to the lower class citizens but I don t know if I would call him a war hero.
Many different characteristics have been named to being a good leader but only a few are important to the world and me today. They are a statesman and a strategist.
A statesman can mend old wars and help all people. To be a great speaker you have to be a statesman. You have to be someone can look and feel like they can trust. People felt like they could trust Pericles and the same goes for George Washington. The people said he couldn t tell a lie and everyone loved him. Washington was a good speaker but didn t like to speak. When Washington spoke everyone listened. When Pericles spoke everyone was on their toes. Statesman knew how to make allies and talk to leaders. Statesman I think I more liked. It is hard to go through life with enemies. A statesman befriends his enemies while keeping a close eye on them. I think that s just what Pericles tried to do with Sparta. Pericles wanted to end the wars with them and he tried but after thirty years of peace Sparta tried liberating Greece. I think great statesmen aren t marked by success but by failure. Every man has to learn how to fail before they became great. Pericles met failure when he gave his first speech and they told him he looked like a tyrant. Washington met his failure against Cornwallis. I believe I great president has to have to dignity and fortitude to lead the people just as Pericles as a statesman had done a few thousand years ago.
Strategists are also to me the most important to republics. Everyone has to have a plan. Pericles like I stated before always had a plan. There was always something Pericles was going for when ever he spoke. I think all leaders need to be like that. Take George W. Bush. Not everyone might have liked him, but he has a plan. His address to the nation was a plan. He wants to help all schools and failing students. And he knows how he wants to do that by school vouchers. Strategists are what all politicians need. People that know how to plan things and are great speakers make a deadly combination. I think that America could use a man like Pericles. He was smart and knew how to get things done without hurting many people. Some people come to power by force, others by luck, but I think Pericles came to power for a reason. He came to power so people could walk free and stop oppression. The only thing about this book that I didn t like was that it didn t really say what Pericles believed in as a person. They talked more about what he did for his state but I would like to know about his family and was he religious. I think that knowing a persons moral value is a trait that is not stated. Being a strategist also mean your foreign relations is great. Leaders need the help of other countries and without having a plan it just won t happen.
The leaders of today have great attributes. They may be a good speaker, or a good foreign policy maker, but none of them could do it all like Pericles. I think that even I owe Pericles I thank you but because I thank him for making it that people can have rights. I wouldn t want to live in a country like China where there is absolute power and if you go against it you will die. I like being able to stand up for what I think is morally right and without Pericles creating this utopia called democracy I wouldn t be able to.
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