The Classical World's Grasp on the Founders
How were the framers of the Constitution and the early republic influenced by Greek and Roman visions for democracy and republicanism?
While the rest of the Western world viewed America's revolution for self-governance as radically progressive, America viewed its new nation as the rightful heirs to the ancient tradition for democratic virtue. America's political experiment in mixed government is a solution to aristocratic and monarchial regimes, inspired by the classical traditions of Athens and Rome. While Enlightenment ideals are given due credit, the Athenian tradition for democracy and Roman spirit for Republicanism deserve proper recognition for fostering the American spirit for self governance. Constitutional debates on democracy, liberty, and the role of a unitary executive can all be traced back to the tradition of antiquity.