The Battle of Representation: Analyzing the Role of the Senate in the Late Republic of Rome and the United States

Gracie Munroe Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Christopher Bungard Butler University
The Late Roman Republic was categorized by two political ideologies regarding representation, the Populares and the Optimates, who quarreled on whether the voice of the people through votes in popular assemblies should have greater weight in government and law-making than the opinions and wisdom of the Roman Senate who, being composed of elite Roman aristocrats, believed they were more intellectual than the average Roman citizens. A parallel idea of representation exists in the United States, in which two schools of thought emerge, the Trustee Model of Representation versus the Delegate model. Specifically evaluating the rhetoric utilized in speeches and papers from Roman politicians like Cicero and Caesar and American founding fathers like Hamilton and Jefferson, I sought out to code the specific language of these writings for similar beliefs, values, and opinions that shaped their views and beliefs on the ideal forms of representation and governance. An analysis and comparison of the Roman Senate and the conflicting Roman perceptions regarding the relationship between the votes of the Roman people and the approval of the Roman senate can aid and speak to conflict regarding the structure of representation here in the United States Senate.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

01:30 PM
Jordan Hall 242