Ancient Greek Political Thought and the model of Roman Government Influenced America’s Foundations
The founding fathers of the United States drew upon multiple sources for inspiration during the establishment of American government. The ideas of Enlightenment philosophers were extremely important; Voltaire, Montesquieu, and John Locke were figures whose ideas shaped the new nation. However, the founders drew not only upon Enlightenment philosophy for political inspiration but also looked towards the cultural heritage of the classical west. Philosophers from classical Greece proposed the separation of powers in government, an idea that the American founders adopted for their new nation. In addition, The Roman Republic (509-27 BC) served as a direct model of government for the writers of the constitution. The political thought of the ancient Greek and Roman world profoundly influenced the government of the United States of America.
I. Plato’s Mixed Government
II. Aristotle: Separation of Powers
III: Polybius and the Roman Republic
IV: Classical Education and Influence in Revolutionary America
V: American Mixed Republican Government