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Senator Byrd reasoned that, "if the history of the Roman people helped to influence Montesquieu's political philosophy concerning checks and balances and the separation of powers, and if Montesquieu's political theory influenced our American forebears in their writing of the United States Constitution, then why can it not be said that the history of Rome and the Romans, as Senator Byrd reasoned that, "if the history of the Roman people helped to influence Montesquieu's political philosophy concerning checks and balances and the separation of powers, and if Montesquieu's political theory influenced our American forebears in their writing of the United States Constitution, then why can it not be said that the history of Rome and the Romans, as well as the history of England and Englishmen, influenced 'the Constitution's framers'." The Roman Senate had emerged as the mainstay of an extended struggle against executive authority for power to control the purse. For centuries, the Senate of ancient Rome was made up of "the wisest, the best educated, the most respected, most experienced, most vigilant, most patriotic men of substance in the Roman republic." But "when the Roman Senate gave up its control of the purse strings, it gave away its power to check the executive. From that point on, the Senate declined... Once the mainstay was weakened, the structure collapsed and the Roman republic fell." Senator Byrd sees ample parallels between the willingness of Roman senators to hand over powers of the purse to usurping executives and the compliant attitude of United States senators in responding to presidential urging for a similar grant of powers in a line-item veto constitutional amendment.


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Senator Byrd reasoned that, "if the history of the Roman people helped to influence Montesquieu's political philosophy concerning checks and balances and the separation of powers, and if Montesquieu's political theory influenced our American forebears in their writing of the United States Constitution, then why can it not be said that the history of Rome and the Romans, as Senator Byrd reasoned that, "if the history of the Roman people helped to influence Montesquieu's political philosophy concerning checks and balances and the separation of powers, and if Montesquieu's political theory influenced our American forebears in their writing of the United States Constitution, then why can it not be said that the history of Rome and the Romans, as well as the history of England and Englishmen, influenced 'the Constitution's framers'." The Roman Senate had emerged as the mainstay of an extended struggle against executive authority for power to control the purse. For centuries, the Senate of ancient Rome was made up of "the wisest, the best educated, the most respected, most experienced, most vigilant, most patriotic men of substance in the Roman republic." But "when the Roman Senate gave up its control of the purse strings, it gave away its power to check the executive. From that point on, the Senate declined... Once the mainstay was weakened, the structure collapsed and the Roman republic fell." Senator Byrd sees ample parallels between the willingness of Roman senators to hand over powers of the purse to usurping executives and the compliant attitude of United States senators in responding to presidential urging for a similar grant of powers in a line-item veto constitutional amendment.

33 review for The Senate of the Roman Republic: Addresses on the History of Roman Constitutionalism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Crofut

    I didn't go looking for this book, but rather stumbled upon it at our local library. It looked like a study on the Roman Senate by Senator Byrd, so I picked it up. Well, it's not a study of the Roman Senate per se; rather, it was a series of fourteen Senate lectures delivered by Senator Byrd about the line-item veto, and the Roman Senate would play the foil to the modern issue. OK. But after the first lecture, that aspect is left off to the periphery, and the book becomes a short jog through Rom I didn't go looking for this book, but rather stumbled upon it at our local library. It looked like a study on the Roman Senate by Senator Byrd, so I picked it up. Well, it's not a study of the Roman Senate per se; rather, it was a series of fourteen Senate lectures delivered by Senator Byrd about the line-item veto, and the Roman Senate would play the foil to the modern issue. OK. But after the first lecture, that aspect is left off to the periphery, and the book becomes a short jog through Roman political history with the occasional cursory comparison to the United States. Now, if you are interested in a short history of Rome, this is a good book. If you are looking for a detailed study of the Senate (as the name would imply) or a detailed comparison of Rome to the issues concerning 1990's America, you will be disappointed. The most interesting thing about this book is its unintentional commentary on America during the late 2010's. An incredible gulf now exists between the Democrats and Republicans that really didn't exist in the late 80's or early 90's. The goals of both parties were largely the same, the disagreement being over the means and the personnel used to achieve the goals, but now the goals themselves are up for debate. Who moved to create such a gulf? This book gives us a hint. Take away name of the speaker and the couple of dated references, and you end up with a book that would today be classified by many as alt-right. We have a covenant with the past, the family and especially the father played a vital role in establishing civic virtue, the necessity of religious devotion to the public good, citizens should be loyal to their family and state and gods, the constant snarky remarks about populists and how dangerous demagogues are (if Senatory Byrd could only see us now!), the threat of urbanization to our culture, the danger of bribing voters or threatening constitutional norms for immediate policies, unhesitating praise of the Founding Fathers...Democrats today would lose their minds over this. That they would disagree so vehemently with their own leading politician of only a few decades ago ought to reveal to us who has left the beaten path and endangered our republic, and just how far they have gone. "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman worketh but in vain." That's how the book ends. This was common sense 25 years ago. Now...well, one might be "deplatformed" for such words. Anyway, as to the book itself, I recommend it. The values he praises are important and the historical example of the decline of such values should concern us.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

  3. 5 out of 5

    Talmadge East

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Schneider

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dmitriy

  6. 5 out of 5

    Philo

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luiz Rens

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Records

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ηρακλής Καραμπάτος

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  12. 4 out of 5

    Oktay Yagiz

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  14. 5 out of 5

    Oswald

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Kelly

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josh Hanson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rae

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Pratt

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stewart

  21. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  24. 5 out of 5

    C.A.

  25. 5 out of 5

    James

  26. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sinan Öner

  28. 5 out of 5

    Becky Snow

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ga W

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pablo Cooke

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alec Bickerstaff

  32. 5 out of 5

    Eliza Johnson

  33. 4 out of 5

    Francis S. Poesy

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