What Was Ancient Rome’s Influence on Government and Democracy Today

Credits: clio-sur-le-net-6eme

The Romans were the first republic to run an election. Credits: clio-sur-le-net-6eme

When speaking of the government system in modern Western countries, we usually say how it is based on Athenian democracy. Although this is correct, Roman influence on government and democracy should never be overlooked due to its major impact. So, how did the Rome influence the today’s democracy?


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World’s First Elected Officials

Rome’s primary influence on modern government is the concept of elected officials. Rome was the first country in the world to operate in such a way, even in a more limited fashion than we do nowadays. In the beginning of the Republic, all Roman officials were selected from a pool of patricians, the noble-born people of Rome. They were placed at various posts, whereas the most important one was that of a consul. The consul was the binary position of the executive leader of the Republic. They had no say when it came to creating and passing laws, or in the working of the courts, but they did hold the power of leading the military, and making executive decisions regarding the workings of the state such as immediate response to a catastrophe, or perhaps an uprising.

Modern countries today invest these powers in the position of the president, or in some cases, the monarch.

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