The Delian League

1169 words 5 pages
Explain the methods used by the Athenians to transform the Delian League into the Athenian Empire. (25 marks) There is certainty no evidence to suggest that the Athenians had any long-term plans, in the years 479-470 BC, to change the Delian League into an empire, although from the beginning the potential to develop into an imperial power were there. Because from the beginning, Athens had considerable power as she was the permanent hegemon.The most important aspects involving the transformation of League into empire was the changing relationships between Athens and her allies, Periclesʼ imperial policy, Athensʼ selfish self interest in gaining more power by using the Leagueʼs power and establishing laws onto her allies such as the Coinage …show more content…
Athensʼ gradual sense of alteration of League to empire is also seen in Periclesʼ imperial policy. The end of the war with Persia and the 5 year truce with Sparta confronted Pericles with a major problem. Thousands of soldiers and sailors, previously away on summer campaigns and supported by League funds, were now unemployed. He used the Temples on the Acropolis that had been in ruins since the second Persian invasion as a way to deal with all the unemployments. However this required funds. Pericles then called on a Panhellenic conference of all Greek states of the mainland and the Aegean to discuss the rebuilding of all temples destroyed by the Persians and the security of the Aegean sea as an underlying intention to get support for the rebuilding of Athensʼ temples and for the recognition of the Athenian navy as protector of the Aegean. This excuse used by Pericles was to force the allies to continue their contributions in order to further his policies of carrying out a building program, developing democracy, and maintaining Athenian forces over a wide area. Plutarch records how Periclesʼ enemies, denounced his actions as “barefooted tyranny”. Pericles replied that “the Athenians were not obliged to give an account of how the alliesʼ money was spent”, and as long as Athens provided the services paid for, she could use the surplus any way she wished. Therefore, the tribute from allies was not used for the Delian League, but to

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