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Ancient Rome and the Founders of the American Republic   

Why are Latin phrases on the one-dollar bill? Why does the U.S. Capitol building bear a striking resemblance to a Roman temple? Why is one of the major branches of the national government called a senate? Dr. Benjamin Rush, a distinguished Philadelphia physician and a friend of Thomas Jefferson, offers a hint. The American Revolution, he wrote, was a great drama, which in its first act replaced a monarchy with a new political system and in its second act sought to construct a new society and culture. The vision that inspired this great two-part drama sprang largely from a conscious effort by the nation’s founders to model both their revolution and their new republic on ancient Roman history and society. Explore some of the profound associations between the new American state and the ancient Roman Republic.