Government

-Jacob Wood

Senate

The Roman senate was established in 753 BCE, and consisted of between 200 and 900 members. It acted as a legislative body, and controlled both elected the two Co-consuls and levied taxes. It's members consisted solely of men who belonged to the Patrician class. The Senators, though being awarded high prestige, were not paid by the government, nor were they allowed to meddle in business' so as to not create any conflicts of interest.

Relation to The United States Government

The Senate under the Roman Republic and the Legislative branch of the United States Government are both very similar in terms of their primary duties. Both held the power to declare war on a foreign nation, as well has holding the ability to levy taxes and check the power of each governments respective executive branch. They were both established after the expulsion of a monarchical system of government, and both served to act as a form of representative government.

Consulate

The executive branch of the Roman republic was the Consulate, which consisted of two co-consuls who served for one year terms once every decade. These consuls were elected from among the Senate, and held power over the military. their role was to facilitate military operations outside of Rome's borders, and to check each other's power to prevent too much military power from resting in the hands of one man.

Relation to the United States Government

The Consulate and the American Presidency, though dramatically different from each other, served very similar purposes and shared many powers. The Consuls each were each in charge of the Roman military just as the American President is the Commander in Chief of the United States Military. Each executive power also also was charged with maintaining relations with other countries.

Social Classes

The Roman Republic was divided into three classes, the Plebeians, the Patricians, and the Slaves. The Slave class is rather self explanatory, consisting of prisoners of war, conflicts, and captured persons who were forced into manual labor, or other menial jobs. The Plebeian class was comprised of farmers, traders, artisans, and other middle-low class workers. This class was the backbone of Roman society, though members of this social strata were not allowed to engage in politics. Finally, the Patrician class was the landowning elite, comprised of wealthy businessmen, plantation owners, generals, senators, and other higher-level people. Only this class was allowed to serve in the Senate, the Consulate, and the highest Echelons of the military.

Relation to the United States Government

Though there is much more sub-stratification of socioeconomic classes today, it is generally true that the highest tiers of the United States Federal government are comprised of very wealthy and/or powerful people within the country. Much like the Roman Republic also, Those vying to be elected to the Consulate were required to have been in the military for some amount of time. Similarly, around half of our presidents have served within the armed forces prior to their election as President. It is also true that most of our country resides within one social strata, in our case the middle class.

Division of power

The Government of the Roman republic was also separated into three groups, The Senate, the Consulate, and the Magistrates. The Senate was the Legislative power, and created laws for the country. They also elected the Consulate, and had the ability to recall the a consul if they believed him to be corrupt. The Consulate had control of the military, and was comprised of two co-consuls. The co-consul system, and later the establishment of the Triumvirate, was designed to prevent one man from holding too much military and executive power. The magistrates also checked the power of the Senate, as it was up to their discretion to enforce the laws.

Relation to the United States Government

Much like the Roman Republic, The united States Government was established with many checks of power between the branches of the Government. The Executive branch checks the power of the legislative branch by holding the right to veto any bills passed by congress, and also by have the power to issue executive orders, bypassing congressional approval if he is a lame duck president at the end of his term or his party has lost control of one or both Houses.The executive branch also checks the power of the judicial branch by seating justices on the supreme court.
Congress, the legislative branch, checks the power of the president and the executive branch by being given the power to overturn a veto with a two-thirds majority vote and by having the ability to impeach the president if they believe that he is not performing his duties or if he has done something wrong. They also check the power of both the Judicial and Legislative branches by reviewing and having the ability to reject the presidents candidates for the supreme court.
The judicial branch checks the power of the legislative branch through the power of judicial review, and has the ability to overturn any laws that they have found to be unconstitutional.

Citations

Images:
DIREKTOR. Republica Romana.s. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., 13 Aug. 2007. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

Bogomolov. Maccari-Cicero. Digital image. Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

DIREKTOR. Marius Glyptothek Munich. Digital image. Wikipedia.org. N.p., 22 Feb. 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Marius#/media/File:Marius_Glyptothek_Munich_319.jpg>.

Rockger21. Cincinato Abandona El Arado Para Dictar Leyes a Roma. Digital image. Wikipedia.org. De Juan Antonio Ribera, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

Sources:

"Roman Republic." Gale Encyclopedia of World History: Governments. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2008. World History in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.


"Law: Ancient Rome and Byzantium." Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery. Ed. Paul Finkelman and Joseph Calder Miller. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998. World History in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.


"'Twelve Tables' of Roman Law Formulated, 451 b.c.e. to 449 b.c.e." Historic World Events. Detroit: Gale, 2014. World History in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.