The government of Ancient Rome and the United States Government have a lot in common, but they also have some differences. For example, they both had Constitutions, but the United States was written and Rome’s was unwritten based on tradition and custom. Most of the types of government and rules from Ancient Rome have changed now, but we are still studying it. This report will be comparing and contrasting the United States (U.S.) government and the Ancient Rome government (Roman).
The Roman government controlled a big part of Europe, northern Africa and parts of the Middle East and was in existence from 27 B.C. to 1490. The U.S. government began in 1789 and continues today and forms the central portion of North America.
In Rome, only citizens – white male adults — could vote. Women and non-whites were never allowed to vote. As in Rome, in the U.S., before 1863 only white male adults could vote. Before civil rights in the United States the slaves did not have equal right as other people did. Therefore blacks and women could not vote. Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery and by 1863, both white and black male adults could vote. Finally by 1919, both men and women of all kind could vote.
Both the Ancient Rome and the U.S. government had a belief in the Separation of Powers. After the Romans deposed their seventh King — Lucius Tarquinius Superbus — they didn’t want to be ruled by a single man again. They built a whole, new system of government. This is when Rome began separation of powers.
When the Americans secured their independence from King George III, they didn’t want to be ruled by a King anymore. This began the U.S.’s separation of powers.
Both Rome and the U.S. had three types government. Although they had different branches, they were very similar. The U.S. branches are: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive.
The U.S. Legislative branch is comprised of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. In the U.S., the Judicial branch, also known as Supreme Court, oversees laws passed by the Legislative are consistent with the United State Constitution. The Executive branch is the President and Vice-president
Rome’s three branches are: Assembly, Senate, and Magistrate. The Roman Assembly was similar to the U.S. Legislative, the Roman Senate was similar to the U.S. Judicial and the Roman Magistrate was similar to the U.S. Executive.
Rome’s new system of government added two consuls, who oversaw the Assembly and Senate. Women could not participate, be a consul or go to Assemblies. In the U.S., men and all women can now occupy any seat of the three branches of government.
The Roman Magistrate had a limited time in office, one year, and the Roman Assembly had a limit as well. However the Roman Senate members served for life. The U.S. has a limited time for President, which is four years, the House of Representatives which is two years, and the Senate which is six years. The U.S. Judiciary members serve for life.
Veto means “I forbid” in Greek. The Magistrate of Ancient Rome could stop any branch from using power by veto, but the Roman Senate could refund. The U.S. Executive can stop or cancel any act of Congress by a similar veto.
The Senate in Rome controlled the money and tried all political cases. On the other hand, The U.S. Congress controls the money but the U.S. Judicial branch tries political cases. Additionally the U.S Congress can defund parts of Executive branch and the U.S. Judicial branch could hold congressional acts unconstitutional.
The most important job of Rome’s two consuls was to command Rome’s armies. The U.S. president is the commander in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. vice-president presides over the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. Executive has bodyguards called the Secret Service and enforces the law. Similarly, in Ancient Rome, Magistrates had bodyguards called Lictors and the Magistrates also enforced the law. The Assembly in Ancient Rome could declare war, while the U.S. Congress could declare war. Lastly, all impeachment cases are tried in the U.S. Senate.
Today, the U.S. is a Federal Republic with a constitutional government, a government of laws. The Constitution established individual liberty and made sure other governments didn’t break the laws (or terms of law) on those liberties. Ancient Rome’s was a monarchy, and with its unwritten Constitution evolved over time. It also consisted a lot of guidelines and rules. Today, Rome is the capital city of Italy, which is a Republic nation as well.
In conclusion, Ancient Rome and the U.S. had many differences and similarities. Both governments have constitutions, both have three branches of government and both had a belief in the separation of powers. Conversely, Rome’s had an unwritten constitution and the U.S. has a written one. Secondly, Rome only allowed white males to vote but in the U.S. all citizens of age can vote. Thirdly, Rome had Consuls as a important part of government which the U.S. has no similar positon. Lastly, both governments are trying today to create new laws to make their countries better.