Government in Ancient Greece and Rome

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Classical education is arguably one of the most influential educations in American history. Not only does it allow the student to study great literature of Ancient Greek and Roman writers, but allows them to develop both written and spoken language while learning of great men and their achievements. Without the knowledge of the past, it is impossible to look forward toward the future. To be considered an educated person in today’s society, it is imperative that one possesses an understanding of ancient Greek and Roman civilization. The Founding Fathers of our nation believed this and used their knowledge acquired through classical education when developing the system of government we have in place today. This essay will look at the ancient Greek and Roman styles of government in an attempt to show how the Founding Fathers took the best parts of these governments and applied them to America and the Constitution. Ancient Greece was not a unified nation. The Greek peninsula contained several islands with mountainous terrain, which made travel and communication difficult. Therefore, each community developed their own political systems, known as city-states. These city-states then formed their own system of government, which varied greatly among them. Corinth, for example, was an oligarchy. An oligarchy is a system of government that is ruled by a small group of powerful leaders. Other city-states developed a system of government that contained several governing styles. Sparta’s government, for example, contained a monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. It contained two kings, a council of 30 noblemen, and an assembly of all the Spartan men. Athens, however, is considered the most influential city-state to Western civiliza... ... middle of paper ... ... of individual membership voting. This gave the wealthier class more power in the government and hindered the influence of lower-class citizens. As seen from both civilizations, the Founders of our nation have created a system of government in America based on the best parts of each government. They believed some uneducated people should not have any influence in the decisions of our government and those who are educated will want to be involved with the government. If this reasoning is correct, then the Founding Fathers knew uneducated people would not care about the government or the governments of ancient civilizations. Thereby assuming educated people will know or want to know about ancient civilizations. Works Cited Plutarch, and Bernadotte Perrin. "Life of Solon." Plutarch's Lives in Eleven Volumes. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard UP, 1988. 451+. Print.

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