Ancient but it might me a possibility. However
Ancient Rome and the modern U.S.A. parallel each other in
many ways. Some people like to theorize that if we are so alike, then there
will also be a fall of us. I am not sure of this, but it might me a
possibility. However we have many differences as well, so we shall see.
One of the
biggest similarities between the two is they are both considered the global
superpowers of their time. Thus they both dominate commerce. Rome was one of
the only great empires when they were in their prime. The U.S., as it is, is a
global superpower. Although this is not always a good thing. The Romans, while
very powerful, had their power go to their heads. They valued themselves so
much they devalued others which eventually lead to their downfall.
governments are also very similar. America copies most of its government from
Ancient Rome. The idea of a senate, a system of judges, and the basic outline
of a president all came from Rome. Rome had 2 presidents and we only have one.
They created this system which we separate into branches: the Executive,
Legislative, and Judicial. This provides for a system of checks and balances.
Not a single branch of the government has absolute power and are kept in check
by the other two.
however the U.S. has a fear of centralized power. Our founding fathers
distrusted a strong national government. They did not wish for a branch of
government to declare itself divine and run with the power, which happened with
Emperors in Rome quite often. Presidents in America are not seen as divine gods
in any way. America also believes in limited government powers and more civil
powers. Romans did not believe this. They thought this was the only way to run
government they had a state religion. Everyone believed in that religion,
because it was expected by law of them. In America there is a separation
between church and state. Anyone can believe in any religion that they wish to
without consequences from the government.
similarity that could simply be explained by human nature or just large,
complex societies in general is that both the U.S. and Rome enjoyed executing
their legal power. They also enjoy making fun of those who have more of it.
This is seen when Americans go to court for lawsuits and sue one another often.
It can also be seen if you merely pick up a newspaper or magazine. There will
be a story about one politician scandal or another. Also in such shows as
Saturday Night Live (SNL) where President Trump is ridiculed and made fun of as
a skit for late night television. This was also done in Ancient Rome, by tongue
and theatrical satire in their colosseums.
cultures also had similar traditions. They both hold and attend celebrations
such as birth, marriage, and funerals. Both spend a large sum of money on these
celebrations as well to make them extravagant and worth coming to.
They also share the joys of running
water and sewer systems. These were a staple as it would be hard to build any
big city or capital city without these things. Also they both had a large
network of roads throughout their countries. When Rome would conquer other
places they would come in and build roads, which would help the economy
considerably. A main difference though is that Roman cities all had the same
layout throughout the Empire and this is not the case in America.
Like any big global superpower they
had a basic setup of their society. Unlike America, where you are granted
citizenship from merely being born there, in Rome you had to earn it. It was
usually earned through serving a certain number of years in the military. Also
in America everyone is granted equal opportunity, but in Rome this was not the
case. Romans were grouped into classes of the privileged and non-privileged,
called the Patricians and the Plebeians. Romans also looked down on
entrepreneurship and those that did it. In America it is the complete opposite.
It is encouraged as they are a consumerist society.
Another difference is the presence
of slaves. Slaves were a staple in the Roman life, as they were everywhere.
Slaves often hailed from conquered lands or were merely people that had to pay
off a debt. Slaves were also in America, but they were abolished nearly 150
years ago thanks to their 13th amendment.
roles in Ancient Rome are very different
than modern America’s. This could be do to the time period, but we will never
know. Women were not allowed to join the army or work at all. In America women
working is the norm, as well as the fact that women are considered actual
citizens. In Rome neither women, children, or slaves were citizens. Both Rome
and America would probably look on in disgust at these practices in the other’s
militaries are quite different. America as of now is the largest military
superpower in the world. Rome was near the top of the ladder during their time.
Soldiers in America belong to the army, yet soldiers in Rome belonged to their
legion. This meant that soldiers in America follow orders directly from the
top, and are not allowed to go about of missions just because they feel like
it. They, with the rest of their troop, cannot go out on crusades and attack
cities just because their general said to. This was the case in Rome where this
happened several times as they were controlled by their legionary officer.
difference in the military was the colonies of Rome. Rome had the goal of
expanding their country by establishing colonies and attacking their neighbors.
America has the philosophy of: We don’t want to be blown up, and anything that
won’t get us blown up is okay.” They only interfere with foreign affairs with
these objectives. They also do not feel the need to expand their country.
As you can see there are many
similarities and differences between modern U.S.A. and Ancient Rome. So what do
you think? Will it lead to our downfall? I hope that we can learn from their
mistakes and not underestimate our foes and allies alike.