Friday, July 11, 2008

Oligarchic Democracy – The Journey from Ancient Rome to Modern US

The concept of an "oligarchic democracy" is one, which some scholars attribute to Ancient Rome and the United States. It conveys a truth about U.S. politics every bit as telling as its application to ancient Rome. It is no accident that the Founding Fathers of the U.S. Republic looked to Roman models for inspiration. Like Ancient Rome, Americans today still have a representative body called the Senate. The Roman eagle still watched their republic. Faced with the distasteful specter of democracy, they sought ways to redefine that unpalatable concept to accommodate aristocratic rule, producing a hybrid, "representative democracy," which was clearly meant to achieve an effect similar to the ancient Roman idea of the "mixed constitution," in fact, an "oligarchic 'democracy."' However, the constitution and state laws have been modified, with the removal of the original property requirements for voting, as well as giving the vote to women and blacks.

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