Cradle of Democracy Mini-lesson

Lesson Plan

No one person invented the kind of government that we have in the U.S. This mini-lesson looks at two early governments that inspired the system that we have today: Athenian democracy, and the Roman Republic.


  • Identify the historical roots of direct and representative democracy in the classical period
  • Determine the differences between direct and representative democracy
  • Big Ideas: Athenian democracy, Roman republic, consent of the governed, direct democracy, representative democracy, citizen participation in government