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Knowing Roman History Preserving America's Future

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Why knowing Roman history is key to preserving America’s future

We should take a lesson from the Founders



Interesting article:





In addition to shaping America’s governing structures and virtues, Rome also shaped America’s expectations for its leaders and civic heroes. The best compliment an 18th-century statesman could receive was a comparison to a Roman. Abigail Adams called Elbridge Gerry, who was a leading revolutionary and later vice president under James Madison, a modern Cato. John Adams liked to think of himself as Cicero. The veneration of all things Roman helps explain why Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay used the shared pen name “Publius” for the Federalist Papers, honoring the founding Roman statesman Publicola.

This Roman influence was crucial, because a very different path presented itself at the time the Founders were designing the United States. The French Revolution took a different course than its American counterpart. It did not simply seek to rebalance power but rather to eradicate all existing power bases. The revolutionaries overthrew everything: the monarchy, the church, the nobility, property rights and most of the other things that had held the French people together for centuries. The result was total anarchy fueled by bloody purges of whoever happened to be on the wrong side of the revolution, which was constantly changing in the 1790s.



guy also known as gaius

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I doubt we can make Roman history the saviour of America. As much as the Founding Fathers used classical principles to create their new constitution, America is a different society in a different geo-political situation. I would agree there are useful lessons from history, but only in generic terms. After all - Didn't Rome fall by the wayside?

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