SPQA: The Senate and People of America
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

SPQA: The Senate and People of America

How our current political climate mirrors the Roman Empire

573
SPQA: The Senate and People of America
Flickr

Some of you may know the common phrase carved into the architecture around the city of Rome: Sentaus PopulusQue Romanus (SPQR). Translated into English, it means “The Senate and People of Rome,” signifying those who were in power during the most dynamic empire the world has ever known. In Rome, the Senate worked to regularly inform the people that they held just as much power as the Senators themselves. This, however, was little more than wishful thinking. In truth, the Caesar and the Senate took actions on a regular basis that left the people of Rome worse off as the wealthy profited. Sound familiar?

The American governing body took much of its influence from Rome and Athens, both positive and negative. There are many significant differences as well, though, in that Caesars were closer to dictators than Presidents. America created a system of checks and balances and appointed our officials through elections, much like the Senators of Rome. Both empires had three branches of government in the form of legislative, executive, and judicial.

One area where Rome and the United States are very similar is in the judicial branch of government. We have retained much of the Ancient Roman language within our own court system. For example, both Ancient Rome and the United States require a writ of habeas corpus, meaning “you may have the body,” which summons an accused individual to a court of law. Both Rome and America require a trial by jury and practice the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” There were times in Roman History where this branch of government was undermined. One instance was the Catiline Conspiracy when Marcus Tullius Cicero executed supporters of Lucius Sergius Catilina without a formal trial. This was met with widespread disdain from Roman Senators and commonfolk alike.

Just like Rome, much of the general public does not approve of the politics that govern their daily lives. A great deal of Rome’s debt came from funding large numbers of poor and unemployed, but for every dollar that went to the poor, one also went to the rich. This was compounded by the centuries of Roman rule and eventually resulted in the empire’s economic collapse.

One of the greatest tools that the Roman Empire used at its peak to keep the public distracted and happy were the gladiatorial battles in the colosseum. Two slaves, pitted against one another, in a struggle for survival. Sure, we in America don’t watch people kill one another for entertainment, but the massive sporting industry in the country serves an identical purpose as the colosseum. The more distracted you keep the public, the less they are to look at the government that is undermining them.

Rome saw centuries of rising debt that built up over time and brought the empire to its knees. During the collapse of Rome, the wealthy elites fled to neighboring territories for fear of the public mob. As we take a step back and analyze our political climate, it becomes more apparent that our country is mirroring the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. A volatile political climate, an ever-expanding debt that will never be paid off, and a massive military sitting idle.

It is now our choice to decide whether we will learn from history or whether we are doomed to repeat it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

931995
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

107562
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

49739
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments