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Foundations of American Political Thought

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:25 AM
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      America\'s political thought has been shaped over the years. Greece, Rome, and England played a major role in forming the way Americans think today about their government.

        Greece\'s political structure was that of a democracy. They were one of the first land\'s recorded to have citizen participation in their government. Greece consisted of many polises. These polises were small units that met at a common agora or acropolis to have governmental decisions. The Greek citizens had to participate in politics, otherwise they would be killed. Over all, the democracy in Greece went well. The people were content with it, since they got a say. America adopted this policy of citizen participation into their political thought, which is why America has voting every four years for a president and voting for other, smaller, issues.

        The period of the Roman Republic came after the Greek democracy. Rome used Greece as a precedent to shape their own government. Rome had a republic which consisted of two main parts. The first were the consuls. These were two men who directed the army and took part in making decisions for their land. The consuls had a one year term, and only once ten years had gone by could they be reelected. Each consul could veto the other, which limited their power. Furthermore, a senate was in action to limit their power. The senate made laws. Both the senate and consuls can be seen in the American government today. The senate would be like the American congress, since they are both small groups who make laws. The consuls are like the vice president and president of America. They have a lot of power, yet are still limited so that they don\'t become tyrants. This is a fear that both Rome had and that America wants to prevent. America replicated Rome\'s idea of having separation of powers because in this way a tyrant is prevented from coming to power.

        America is a republic democracy. It derived this form of...

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