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3 Ways Roman Imperialism Still Permeates Our Culture

Updated on June 11, 2017
A classical Louisiana plantation Roman style home.
A classical Louisiana plantation Roman style home.

1. Popular Government Buildings That Depict Roman Culture

The United States is saturated with Roman architectures. From Greco-Roman style homes to the White House itself, the influence of Rome on our sense of structural design is easy to see.

  • The United States Capitol Building. Construction began in 1793. President Jefferson wanted Congress (which itself is a Roman political instrument) housed in a structure resembling a Roman temple.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court Building. Its construction was announced on May 25, 1929. It was first occupied in 1935. It cost taxpayers $9,740,000 to build. That is equivalent to $137,517,408.19 today.
  • The Washington Monument. As was common among Romans and Greeks, no major civilization would be complete without a big representative of the male phallus. Construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 but wasn't finished until 1884.
  • The White House. Construction began in 1792. As was most Roman construction, the White House was primarily built by African slaves. Yet, interestingly enough, some work was also done by free immigrants who didn't yet have citizenship.

Today, many Roman and Greek style monuments are under a fire of controversy due to their Confederate past. The Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans might be taken down soon due to increase vandalism and protests over its underlying meaning to those of color. As a matter of fact, many of the famous Confederate houses, with their big Roman-style pillars, are other great examples of how Roman architecture greatly influenced America, especially the South.


2. Roman Style Politics Still Govern Us Today

It isn't only the architecture that reeks of Roman influence, but it's the very politics of the United States that are strikingly familiar to Roman history. There are some great conspiracy theories that claim Rome never died but simply lived on through the ages within the inner circles of secret societies controlled by the elite of the elite. I will write some conspiracy articles in the near future. For now, let us focus on cold hard facts.

  • Campaign Funding. Though there is some reasonable logic behind funding a political campaign, there has always been this underlying issue of its morality. At the very least, there seems to be the willingness to become immoral when the option of receiving money to campaign for a high position is on the table. Donald Trump spent $66 million of his own money for his presidential campaign. In the same fashion, big money was spent by the Caesars in order to influence voters, even going as far as buying votes.
  • Use of Political Office for Monetary Gain. If anyone were to say, "We really have no proof that politicians receive monetary gain from public office," I would just walk away. Former President Barak Obama made $20 million as president. Three-fourths of that came from his book deal alone. In an article by Forbes, they note that he made a little over $15 million from being an author. Bill and Hillary Clinton outdid him, though. They have made a total of $240 million. During the Roman Republic, it was a well-known fact that politicians made use of their position to accumulate personal wealth.
  • Continual War (Complete With Crusades). Much like the Roman empire - for the last 100 years or so - America has either been preparing for war, in a war or recovering from a war. Rome had one of the mightiest militaries of that time. They also spent huge amounts of money bolstering that military. At its peak, Rome was spending about 2.5 percent of its GDP on the military, while the U.S. spends upwards of 3.8%. Being that many historians blame Rome's fall on its exorbitant spending on its military, you would think America would learn from history.
  • There Is No More Compromise. Most regular folk never knew that between the years of 2009 and 2010, there were more filibusters than there were between the 1950s and 1970s combined. The Roman Republic, much like the U.S. government, relied on checks and balances to keep everything running smoothly. With the polarization of the Roman political parties, the Optimates (the entrenched elite) and Populares (the commoners) became more and more at odds. Like it or not, the rich need the low and middle classes in order to keep the nation making money. Without that respect between classes, the system fails, riots happen (like in America now) and people begin to fight back. Sound familiar? It happened to Rome.

All Seeing Eye, Chapel Chigi, Rome.
All Seeing Eye, Chapel Chigi, Rome.

3. Roman Symbolism Within American Government and Culture

There is a quote that always sticks out in my mind when I am faced with symbolism. Once you understand how those in power have manipulated the masses through symbols, it becomes hard to see the world as normal ever again - if it was ever normal in the first place.

"When quick results are imperative, the manipulation of the masses through symbols may be the only quick way of having a critical thing done." - John Grierson

  • The Fascist Symbol. Believe it or not, the eagle has been used as a symbol of fascism for thousands of years. It arrives in a number of different manifestations, but the symbolism is always the same.
  • The All Seeing Eye. The All Seeing Eye has been a symbol of many cultures, not just Rome or America. Nonetheless, when you add other similarities correlating the Roman All Seeing Eye to the American version, it is reasonable to say that the two are more likely to be related. We will discuss that in my conspiracy theory articles.
  • The Cross. Many Christians, out of touch with history, believe the cross is a universal symbol of their faith. Truth is, it is technically a Catholic symbol - a Roman Catholic Symbol. All modern-day Christian sects are derivatives from Catholicism. As for pre-Catholic Christians, there is no evidence they used such symbols.
  • The Golden Eagle. From Nazi Germany, the Republic of Indonesia, Rome, and of course, America, everyone knows the Golden Eagle. It most always clutches some arrows in one talon and some type fo foliage in the other. This, my dear friend, is yet another symbol of fascism.

Yet another fasces symbol. This time on the wall at the U.S. House of Representatives.
Yet another fasces symbol. This time on the wall at the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Another Symbol of Fascism. This symbol was not only used by the Romans, but it was also adopted by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The word fasces actually means "bundle." In ancient Rome, the bodyguards of a magistrate carried fasces. Though no one truly knows the meaning behind this symbol, it is usually a sign of authority or power.


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