Comparing The Roman Empire And The United States Of America

1603 words - 6 pages

“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; And when Rome falls - the World.” Lord Byron. This essay will discuss the similarities of military, economics and systems of government between the Roman Empire of the 6th century BCE and the United States of America of the 20th century. History has revealed that all superpowers fall eventually, although much time has passed since the glory days of Rome we see in 2015 the largest superpower in charge, the United States. There are many similarities that can be drawn between the American superpower and the Roman Empire such as the same founding of government and both dominated in military, as well as economic similarities. This leads to the conclusion that because the rise to power between the two powers was so similar, the downfall will be equally parallel.

Rome's Republican era began after the overthrow of the last Roman King Tarquin Superbus by Lucius Brutus in 509 BC(1), the Senate was ruled the by the people of Rome. The Roman Republic was governed by a largely complex constitution, which established many checks and balances, so no man could have complete control. The evolution of the constitution was heavily influenced by the struggle between the patricians and the other prominent Romans who were not from the nobility. Early in Rome’s history, the patricians controlled the republic, over time, the laws that allowed these individuals to dominate the government were repealed, and the result was the emergence of a the republic which depended on the structure of society, rather than the law, to maintain its dominance. This is similar to the creation of the American system of government. Starting with the over throw of the British monarch, the founding fathers established a constitution to give the power to the people rather than one man. They also established many checks and balances; an example would be that a president can only serve two terms, much like the one-year service of the consuls. There are now many levels of government to help maintain a balance of power and to protect the people(2).

Historically, the civilization with the most powerful army dominates the world. It is also common for the most advanced technology to be developed and applied by the military before being put to use to aid the people. One of the main reasons Rome was able to dominate for over a thousand years was because they were on the leading edge of science and technology. The Romans were expert military and civil engineers, among their accomplishments included creating better quality metal, bridge-building, ballistic weapons, elevated and underground aqueducts, the use of arches and domes, and the invention of concrete. Their roman short sword killed more people than any other weapon until the machine gun was developed in WWI(3). This is similar to the Americans who have led the way in the 20th century in military advancement, from the splitting of...

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