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Reply #19: Yes and no.. [View All]

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GTurck Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-28-08 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Yes and no..
The Founders were very suspicious of empire but knowing the Roman model so well they saw the dangers there too. Their idea was to not have a class of men who were expected to be senators with revolving tribunes, etc as leaders but for there to be a way for the best of all Americans no matter where they started from to have a chance to be in offices of power. That is a stand out difference from Rome. In Rome to become a senator you had to be a member of the Senatorial Class which was a sub-set of the Patricians. That was maybe 5% of 20% of all Romans. Over time it became possible to buy your seat in the Senate by being super-rich but there were never any elections by the people for this office. It would have been unthinkable to have judgment passed on those Senators-to-be by having plebeians vote for them. Now translate that all into today's terms and it will be easier to understand what a profound difference the founders of our nation intended.
But I am sorry for not having provided more of the quotes from "The Anti-Federalist Papers". I was trying to be brief.
p.6:"This republicanism of the 1780's was not in principle different from what in Britain and America by mid-nineteenth century was generally called representative democracy. The founders would not have been opposed to the modern connotation of the word "democracy," nor would they have used the word "republic" to mark out a distinction from those connotations. In scorning "democracy," eighteenth century theorists had in mind Aristotle's picture of a heedless, emotional, manipulated populace that would still be denigrated by most modern democratic theorists."
Thanks for the comments. It think it is essential that this sort of conversation is engaged.
Thanks to Ralph Ketcham who wrote the quote above for helping me understand our founding better too.
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