How was Roman Culture a major influence for the Founding Father’s when writing the US Constitution?
Georgia Military College How was Roman Culture a major influence for the Founding Father’s when writing the US Constitution? Rome just like Greece left a lasting legacy of fundamental ideas and culture which greatly influenced the United States form of government and the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation quickly showed the Founding Fathers that a strong central government was required in order to equally solve the staggering problems left by the American Revolution. Amongst the concerns of having a strong central government was the abuse of power from political figures, proper representations, and guarding the freedoms of the people. These fundamental ideas when writing the Constitution share …show more content…
After the Revolutionary war the Articles of Confederation were adopted which gave the states complete power to govern themselves and maintained a weak central government. This proved to be problematic, since the colonies faced massive amounts of debt, lacked a foreign policy representative to enact treaties, (the President) and argued about who would fund policing forces for ensuing rebellions across the nation. It seemed like chaos but all these problems paved the way for the creation of a republican form of government which greatly resemble Roman ideals. Schweikart, Allen explained, from seeing the mounting problems the Articles failed to solve political Whigs adopted the idea of “civil libertarianism” which restrains political power and set forth the principles of “localism, egalitarianism, and libertarianism” (Kindle loc. 2533) These fundamental ideas paved the way for developing the three branches of
Rome's Republican era began after the overthrow of the last Roman King Tarquin Superbus by Lucius Brutus in 509 BC(1), the Senate was ruled the by the people of Rome. The Roman Republic was governed by a largely complex constitution, which established many checks and balances, so no man could have complete control. The evolution of the constitution was heavily influenced by the struggle between the patricians and the other prominent Romans who were not from the nobility. Early in Rome’s history, the patricians controlled the republic, over time, the laws that allowed these individuals to dominate the government were repealed, and the result was the emergence of a the republic which depended on the structure of society, rather than the law, to maintain its dominance. This is similar to the creation of the American system of government. Starting with the over throw of t...
The Roman Republic was based off the ideas of virtus; pietas, fides, gravitas, and constantia. Rome’s people based their livelihood around the ideas of its four great virtues. Pietas place an importance on the devotion and loyalty to both family and devotion to the gods and state. Furthermore, this governs those of the Roman Republic to stay
In conclusion, the Articles of Confederation were a valiant effort at sufficient government, but failed because of their inability to solve peacetime economics, their lack of regulated dominion over citizens that encouraged rebellion, as well as weak system of foreign affairs. The Articles did serve as a segue to the United States Constitution, but there was a reason that the Founding Fathers completely scrapped the Articles to form the government that is familiar today. After finally overcoming the fear of a monarchy, Americans soon agreed that some type of executive government was necessary to unify the states, as long as it had some limitations and “checks and balances.” The Articles of Confederation featured commendable points, but they were unsuccessful in regards to overall efficiency and encouraging unity.
When one thinks of great powerful empires and nations of any time, they would think of Ancient Rome. So how would future nations take what the almighty Roman empire had to build their own successful country? After all, the Romans did eventually fall. This means that nations would have to mimic but not copy their exact steps and acts. It is an ultimate mystery of picking and choosing. However, many of the things Rome did were very important. In the United States of America, we see some direct connections from Ancient Rome. These connections have to do with anything from politics, social living, geography, government, sport, and many more. All in all, America would not be the same if it were not for Roman connections.
During the construction of the new Constitution, many of the most prominent and experienced political members of America’s society provided a framework on the future of the new country; they had in mind, because of the failures of the Articles of Confederation, a new kind of government where the national or Federal government would be the sovereign power, not the states. Because of the increased power of the national government over the individual states, many Americans feared it would hinder their ability to exercise their individual freedoms. Assuring the people, both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison insisted the new government under the constitution was “an expression of freedom, not its enemy,” declaring “the Constitution made political tyranny almost impossible.” (Foner, pg. 227) The checks and balances introduced under the new and more powerful national government would not allow the tyranny caused by a king under the Parliament system in Britain. They insisted that in order achieve a greater amount of freedom, a national government was needed to avoid the civil unrest during the system under the Articles of Confederation. Claiming that the new national government would be a “perfect balance between liberty and power,” it would avoid the disruption that liberty [civil unrest] and power [king’s abuse of power in England] caused. The “lackluster leadership” of the critics of the new constitution claimed that a large land area such as America could not work for such a diverse nation.
In creating the Constitution, the states had several different reactions, including a rather defensive reaction, but also an understanding reaction. As a document that provided the laws of the land and the rights of its people. It directs its attention to the many problems in this country; it offered quite a challenge because the document lent itself to several views and interpretations, depending upon the individual reading it. It is clear that the founders’ perspectives as white, wealthy or elite class, American citizens would play a role in the creation and implementation of The Constitution.
The Constitution of the United States is the spirit of America written on a piece of parchment. It is the linchpin of American life, the source of our liberty and freedom, written by some of the wisest and most courageous men ever to walk the earth; our “Founding Fathers”. Our Founding Fathers were intelligent, religious men. The Constitution is so great because it was founded upon principles and rights given by God through the Holy Bible.
The American Revolution stirred political unity and motivated the need for change in the nation. Because many Americans fought for a more balanced government in the Revolutionary War, they initially created a weak national government that hampered the country's growth and expansion. In the Letter from Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson, Mrs. Adams complained about the inadequacy of power that the American government had to regulate domestic affairs. The Articles of Confederation was created to be weak because many had feared a similar governing experience that they had just eliminated with Britain. The alliance of states united the 13 local governments but lacked power to deal with important issues or to regulate diplomatic affairs. Congress did not have the power to tax, regulate trade, or draft people for war. This put the American citizens at stake because States had the power to refuse requests for taxes and troops (Document G). The weakened national government could not do anything about uprisings or small-scale protests because it did not have the power to put together an army. The deficiencies of the confederation government inspired the drafting of the American Constitution. The document itself embodied the principle of a national government prepared to deal with the nation's problems. In James Madison's Federalist Paper, he persuades the American public to adopt the Constitution so that the government can protect humans from their nature and keep them out of conflicts.
To conclude, The United States Constitution was greatly influenced by Ancient Rome, the Enlightenment, and Colonial Grievances. Due to the Constitutional Convention, the Delegates that arose from five states proposed an idea for a stronger federal government which occurred in the creation of the United States Constitution. This idea would impact the United States
According to the Federalists in the early stages of the American republic, a strong central government was necessary to provide uniform supervision to the states thus aiding in the preservation of the Union. This necessity for a more organized central government was a result of the ineffectiveness of the Article of Confederation’s government that was without a unifying government body. One component of this philosophy was the creation of an executive and other federal branche...
The Constitution was extremely important to America’s history and allowed the citizens to have rights and freedom that many countries do not come near to possess. The main ideas behind the Constitution was the creation of popular sovereignty, the separation of powers, and federalism and republicanism. The Constitution led to greater government documents that separates America from the other nations by the freedom and citizen’s rights that were given.
The Ancient Roman citizens in 50 BC had more rights than the American citizens in 1790. The Roman society in 50 BC was a republic which was controlled by the senate, but the patricians also played a major role in the government. However, the American government in 1790 was set up as a democracy, with a new constitution. The Roman society gave all of its citizen’s legal rights, including women. Not only did Rome give the Romans legal rights, there was also better social mobility and wealth distribution. While, in America there were many needless requirements in order for its citizens to take part in government. Both countries had slaves, but they used them for much different purposes.
Even before the Constitution was ratified, strong argument were made by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in the Federalist Papers urging the inclusion of a federal form of government to replace the failed confederation. In Federalist Paper No. 9 Hamilton states, “This form of government is a convention by which several smaller states agree to become members of a large one, which they intend to form. It is s kind of assemblage of societies that constitutes a new one, capable of increasing, by means of new associations, until they arrive to such a degree of power as to be able to provide for the security of a united body” (Usinfo.state.gov). The people of the United States needed a central government that was capable of holding certain powers over the states.
In many ways, the Roman legacy remains the ideal upon which Western civilization has shaped itself today. For example, the capitol in Washington is seen to be followed by the roman model in making of a new nation. According to history-world.org, as the Athenians saw the symbol of their city-state's democracy and culture in the rock-jutting Acropolis, so the Romans viewed the Forum as the symbol of imperial grandeur. The Romans were practical people whose greatness lies in shaping the government and the law. They wanted to lead the nation and that is what we adapted through their teachings still today.