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Re: CHAT: American vs European educational standards

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, September 26, 2002, 19:23
Quoting John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> BP Jonsson scripsit: > > > Then of course there was and is the Capitol Hill in Rome! > > The American Republic was, of course, consciously modeled on the Roman > one in many such ways, including calling the upper house of our legislature > the Senate, and even (etymologically correctly) setting a higher age > qualification than for the House.
Right. The Founding Fathers, far from being the icons of democracy that they are often made out to be, held in great fear the power of faction, and so, like the Roman Republic, ensured that although all members of federal institutions were ultimately chosen by the People, there would be all sorts of intermediary mechanisms in place to make popular pressure for change difficult. The clearest example is the Electoral College, quite similar to the Comitia Tributa or the Comitia Centuriata in structure. Also, when debates were held about the heraldric symbols that the federation should have, Greek was pointedly rejected in favor of Latin for mottos, since Greek was held to have too much "popular" baggage. (Hebrew was also suggested, but had no support among the secularists.) (All this worry about the people was not *entirely* unfounded, since Shays' Rebelllion had only just been quelled in Massachusetts when the Constitutional Convention was convened in Philadelphia.) ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637