A person acquires the status of citizen when the laws of a nation establish the basic requirements for that purpose. These requirements are generally the following: be of legal age, be responsible for your actions and act with freedom . To refer to the set of citizens, an abstract term is used: citizenship.
A concept that has changed throughout history
In ancient Greece there were independent polis such as Sparta, Athens or Thebes. Those who were first given the title of citizens were the Athenians. In Athens of the V century; C democracy was established and with this system citizens were able to participate in city or polis government.
It is worth remembering that only men born in Athens who were the children of Athenian parents were citizens, therefore, slaves, foreigners and women who were not part of the citizenship.
In Roman civilization, citizenship rights are recognized for the inhabitants of Rome and for all those individuals who inhabited the territories of the Empire. In this sense, the descendants of slaves who were freed were also citizens.
In the Middle Ages, the concept of citizenship disappears and is replaced by a vassal relationship between a feudal lord and his serfs
From the 17th century onwards, monarchical absolutism was installed in Europe. In this context, individuals were subjects of a monarch, but not recognized in their rights as citizens. This situation changed after the French Revolution of 1789.
The idea of citizenship existing today emerged in the French Revolution
With the disappearance of the French monarchy and the establishment of the Republic, a new course began. In this way, the Declaration of Human and Citizen’s Rights of 1789 established a series of rights for all citizens: individual freedom and equality of rights were recognized and, thus, the law was determined as the expression of the general will of the citizens. individuals of a nation.
The challenge of responsible citizenship
Being a citizen is more than having a recognized right. In other words, citizens should be responsible when exercising their freedom. This responsibility must be based on active participation and a critical attitude.
The uninformed citizen who does not intervene in decision-making in his community becomes an individual who acts irresponsibly.