Similarities and Differences g classical Athens

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Similarities and Differences –

classical Athens

overnments of Ancient Rome and the United States
Be careful of definitions:
democracy = government with the participation and consent of those being governed

Roman Republic

republic = government in which “the people” (however that term is defined) have an impact upon decisions

United States
democratic republic = a republic with democratic leanings (usually this means a representative democracy – “the people” impact decisions through direct votes, and through the election of representatives who vote on many issues)

Similarities between the Roman Republic and U.S. government

  • both feature executive and legislative branches

  • both systems have checks and balances embedded

  • the head executives can be removed from power by legislators

  • the head executives have military responsibilities

  • both lead executives have veto power

  • the executives are charged with enforcing the laws

  • the legislative bodies make laws and control the budgets

  • written law codes exist in both societies

  • political divisions exist in both (Rome = patricians vs. plebeians / U.S. = citizens of a more liberal persuasion vs. citizens of a more conservative persuasion)

  • wealthy people are more likely to get elected

  • both place the authority of the state above that of the individual

Differences between the Roman Republic and U.S. government

  • Roman system did not have a separate judicial branch

  • Roman consuls (2 people) served 1-year terms / U.S. presidents (1 person) serve 4-year terms

  • Rome had a provision for a dictator to take over / the U.S. does not

  • Roman consuls had religious duties / the U.S. president does not

  • Romans continued to own slaves / Americans do not

  • Roman senators served for life / American senators have 6-year terms

  • Roman women were not allowed to participate in politics / American women are allowed

  • Rome had rigid social classes / the U.S. has more flexible social classes

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