The Greek Empire
Greece was known as the bastion of democracy, from whence all our ideals of freedom and equitable government spring from, but in the light of history, events may prove differently.
The birth of the Greek empire was in part as a response to the Persian Empire, which was extending into Western Asia, all the way to the Aegean Sea. Hence, in 499BC, the Greek-populated cities of Asia Minor appealed to mainland Greece for help. The Athenians were the only ones to come to their aid, burning one of the Persian capitals with their expeditionary force.
Darius I, the monarch of Persia, was defeated in his attempt at retaliation, and his son in turn was repulsed from the Grecian shores by the combined forces of Athens and Sparta. However, Sparta soon withdrew from the united force, due to internal weakness and the threat of rebellion, returning to isolation, leaving Athens at risk of possible further invasion by the Persians.
In 478 B.C., Athens established the Delian League, a defensive alliance of 173 city-states (the Ionian and Aeolian colonies in Asia Minor, the islands in the Aegean Sea, as well as Greek cities along the coast bordering the Aegean Sea. The alliance was established with the intention of building up a collective strength of two hundred ships to police the sea and guard against Persian attack.
This system worked much like the current UN, in which member states’ contributions are determined proportional to their economic or military strength. Like the US does now, Athens dominated the league, providing the fleet as almost all of the other members preferred to make monetary contributions. Comparisons could also be drawn to NATO’s principle of collective action, which is taken if one of the members of the alliance is attacked.