Greek vs Roman Government

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Early Greco-Roman governmental systems have influenced American politics in countless different ways. The United States currently has a democratic republic, using ideas such as separation of powers, checks and balances, popular sovereignty, the rule of law, and the duties and responsibilities of citizens from Greek’s democracy and Rome’s republic. These concepts protect the rights of the individual person as well as the governing body in a whole. Without the contributions made by Greece and Rome, American government would not be the same. Greece’s early ideas of separation of powers within a democracy have been integrated into American governmental systems. In Athens, a democracy was established in 508 B.C. when Cleisthenes overthrew the aristocrats (Document 4). This government was a direct democracy, where members of the Assembly, which was made up of all free male citizens over the age of twenty one, voted on every issue (Document 3). The Assembly also elected the Council, Board of Generals, Board of Officials, and the Juries. The Council was made up of five hundred members who served for one year. This body suggested ideas for the assembly to vote for. In addition to the council, there was the Board of Generals, who led the army and the navy, as well as proposing ideas to the assembly on military affairs. Furthermore, there were also the Board of Officials and the Juries, who were involved with court cases. The Board of Officials directed the courts of justice while the juries combined were judges and jurors. Each trial, at least two hundred and one juries were chosen to participate. These branches of the Athenian democracy could be compared to the separation of powers currently utilized in the United States’ government. For example, ancient Greece’s Council is akin to the legislative branch in American government. Congress has the power to write bills that will be considered to be turned into laws, much like the Council had the power to propose ideas to be...
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