In innumerable ways, the United States of America is the political and social descendant of the Roman Republic, and the influences of Rome reverberate throughout our world. Yet while America reflects the heights of Roman structures, ideas, and principles, we also now face a host of problems similar to those that the Romans faced—immigration and citizenship, the consequences of slavery, the growing divide between classes, the conflict between conservatives and progressives, and the challenges of being a superpower.
In Rome and America: The Great Republics, author Walter Signorelli chronicles and compares these two greatest and enduring republics of history, explaining how they formed, grew, and prospered. He evaluates their strengths and weaknesses, the environments from which they emerged, and the values and practices they had in common. Signorelli also explores parallels between American and Roman military history, similarities between their constitutional governments, and the legacy of Roman law in America. Last, he questions whether our democratic-republican government will disintegrate as the Roman Republic disintegrated, whether it will grow stronger despite its similarities to the Roman experience, or whether it will transform itself into another form of government akin to Rome’s imperial dictatorship.
More than an historical narrative or a collection of biographies, Rome and America: The Great Republics examines the political, social, economic, and moral factors that affected both nations, considering the successes and mistakes of the Romans and their implications for American society today.