The Similarities That Lie Between Our Governments

1580 words - 7 pages

Throughout history several ideologies were acquired from different governmental institutions and implemented in establishing the United States Government. Both The Roman Republic and Athenian democracy have a great impact on our government today. The Roman Republic, on the other hand, utilizes many different concepts from different types of governments and executes it in its own government. Moreover, Athenian democracy shares a great deal of similarities with our government such as equality before the law, meritocracy, and open society. Through the basic understanding of those two institutions we can understand more about our own government. Some fundamental aspects that are used in our ...view middle of the document...

While the Athenian democracy is flourishing they encompassed many ideologies that benefited their country as a whole—one being this very idea. For instance, in “Pericles’ Funeral Oration” he states that “Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy.” In essence, as Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he utilized Athens’ basic idea of democracy; because Jefferson acknowledges the fact that the previous form of government—the British monarchy—did not do so.
Moreover, several other attributes were utilized in establishing our government. The idea of checks and balances used in the United States government is extremely similar to The Roman Republic’s. In fact, we can safely assume that The Roman Republic influenced The Constitution. Article I Section 7 of the constitution discusses the powers of the legislature and what they can and cannot do. It also includes some information regarding the president’s power. Article I Section 7 states that “Every Bill shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it…” This quote from The Constitution explains the powers of The House, Senate, and President and how they can “check” each other. For instance, a Bill may not leave the Legislative branch before being approved by the Senate or House; it must go through both sectors of the Legislative branch. As such, after the bill is approved by the Legislative branch it must go to the president before becoming a law, and if the president does not approve of it then it will not become a law. This idea is quite important because it enables each branch of the government to check on the other and basically balance the power out, hence the name, preventing one branch from obtaining too much power. Comparatively, The Roman Republic utilized the same concept. There are three vital pieces that make up the government of The Roman Republic; Roman Consuls, the Senate, and the people—without one another the government would not be able to function. Also each one of them had a “check” on the other. For example, the Senate is the only branch controlling the treasury and if the Consuls or people were exercising too much power the Senate could cut the financial funds. The fact that the Senate can exercise such a power and check the other branches suggests that they utilized the concept of checks and balances and influenced our own.
Another important aspect that can be traced back to its classical source is the idea to practice one’s own religious beliefs freely. Article I of the amendments of the United States’ Constitution discusses freedom of religion. Article I enables people to practice their religion without any punishment, and in a democracy where individuality is encouraged such degree of freedom is essential. Considering the degree of diversity that is...

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