In 133 BC, Tiberius Gracchus, scion of a prominent aristocratic family, veteran of the military campaigns in Carthage and Spain, won election as Tribune. In an effort to address worsening imbalances in land distribution, and to increase the number of propertied citizens qualified for military service, Tiberius proposed legislation to divide land confiscated from Rome’s […]
Read More 6. The Republic Assaulted . . .
“Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty” – Edward Gibbons The Republic’s politics and governing institutions evolved over time, reflecting the increasing wealth from its growing empire; increasing diversity of its population; and increasing diversion of interests among its social castes. High public office in Rome was much sought after, rewarded with wealth and […]
Read More 5. The Republic Corrupted . . .
“When Rome was freed of the fear of Carthage, and her rival in empire was out of her way, the path of virtue was abandoned for that of corruption, not gradually, but in headlong course. The older discipline was discarded to give place to the new. The state passed from vigilance to slumber, from the […]
Read More 4. The Republic Divided . . .
Military conquest by the Republic followed extensive trade with the provinces, and was often predicated on protection of valuable transit routes and Rome’s traveling merchants. Trade between the provinces and Rome was substantial, by land and by sea, and was very profitable. Trade goods consisted primarily of agricultural products, including grain, wine, spices, fruits and nuts, […]
Read More 3. The Republic Enriched . . .
The Roman Republic was founded in 509 BC by popular uprising against its eighth King, following loss of a war with the Etruscans. History of the the early Republic is complex and sketchy, as Rome expanded its territory over the next five centuries by wars, fought in multiple stages, against adjacent tribal lands. Rome conquered […]
Read More 2. The Republic Ascends . . .
The Roman Republic was designed to combine forms of monarchy, democracy and aristocracy, dispersing power through multiple governing bodies representing different social and economic classes. There was no formal constitution, but a series of laws, precedents and traditions. The “Twelve Tablets”, engraved in bronze and displayed permanently in the Forum, stated the Republic’s laws dealing […]
Read More 1. The Republic Designed . . .
“What I worry about is, when problems are not addressed and the people do not know who is responsible … some one person will come forward and say, ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem. That is how the Roman Republic fell. That is the way democracy dies” – David Souter About […]
Read More Alas, The Republic . . .
America developed as a nation through ongoing waves of immigration – first British; then Africans; then Scottish, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Eastern Europeans; great waves of Asians; Hispanics; and Latinos – and continuing. While fundamental Christian principles of charity and humanity are engraved on the Statue of Liberty, much early immigration was forced […]
Read More The New Colossus . . .
Michael Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. He is author of “Heroic Conservatism” and co-author of “City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era”. Until 2006, Gerson was assistant to President George W. Bush, himself a Christian Evangelical, for policy and strategic planning, and as director of presidential speechwriting. […]
Read More Republican Failure . . .
Katherine Stewart writes regularly about the political activities of evangelicals and other religious groups, and is author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.” Following is her piece from two years ago, almost prophetic, which I think helps explain the psychology and motivation of political activism of the Christian Right. Well […]
Read More Unholy Alliance . . .