Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations
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Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations
Comparisons between violence in Ancient Rome, and in our U.S. government today.
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1: Why Would Someone Want to Kill the Emperor of Ancient Rome?

1: Why Would Someone Want to Kill the Emperor of Ancient Rome? | Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations | Scoop.it

(Pictured above is Julius Caesar)

Loren's insight:

Violence within governments dates back to years and years and years ago.  For example, in Ancient Rome, there were many conflicts behind the government walls.  Julius Caesar ruled in around the 100’s B.C., when Pompey also lived.  In fact, Caesar and Pompey were actually friends.  However, Julius Caesar could very well be considered a tyrant.  Cicero, a public speaker, gave speeches that warned people about generals and rulers taking more power than they should.  These speeches had Caesar written all over them.  Once the Senate realized how controlling he was, they wanted Caesar out immediately.  In replace of Caesar, they decided on his good friend Pompey to be their emperor instead.  They, or course, didn’t share this information with Caesar himself, but when he eventually found out, his rule turned to rage.  In jealousy and hatred, Caesar made his decision: he was going to kill Pompey.  He, and only he, could rule.  In response to this deceitful deed, the Senate bit back.  They disposed of the reason their desired leader, Pompey, was dead.  With anger and resentment toward Caesar in the backs of their minds, they rose up and murdered Caesar themselves.  With both their potential and current emperor dead, the Senate had to settle for Octavian, Caesar’s adopted son, and his friend Marc Antony to inherit the throne and lead Rome.  Marc Antony eventually ended up the husband of Octavia, Octavian’s sister.  But there was one problem, and that problem was named Cleopatra.  Cleopatra managed to interject her way in between Octavia and Marc Antony, and meddled with their relationship.  Marc Antony ended up divorcing Octavia and falling for Cleopatra... and the control of all of Egypt.  Naturally, this upset Octavian and he stood up for his sister.  He and Marc Antony then went to war because of the conflicts resulting in Marc Antony’s divorce.  At the end of their heated battle, Octavian eventually killed Marc Antony, returning dignity to his sister.  This resulted in Cleopatra’s death, as well.

 

If a ruler in Ancient Rome was murdered, it was often due to reasons involving control, rule, anger, or jealousy.  For example, Pompey’s death was the result of a jealous and deceitful Caesar.  Caesar in turn was murdered because of the Senate’s anger, and also for the fact that he was a tyrant and ruled with too much power and control.  Octavian, Caesar’s son, killed Marc Antony because of the conflicts they were having over the divorce issue that Cleopatra had created.  Violence in the Ancient Roman government branched from negative emotions that could be those of hatred or anger toward the emperor from the people, or even anger from one emperor or ruler to another.  An emperor could be selfish and take too much power over people or a place, much like Marc Antony did with Egypt.  And what did this bring him?  Major conflicts with his friendship with Octavian, who eventually killed him because of what he did.

 

These are just a few reasons, from some of the most well-known examples of violence within the Roman government.

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3: What is the Connection Between Violence in the Ancient Roman Government, and Violence in the U.S. Government Today?

3: What is the Connection Between Violence in the Ancient Roman Government, and Violence in the U.S. Government Today? | Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations | Scoop.it
Loren's insight:

It’s clear that there is violence both in our United States government today, and in the Ancient Roman government hundreds of years ago.  But, what is the connection?  How are they similar?  In Ancient Rome, murders often occurred because someone was either jealous, much like Caesar was, or didn’t agree with the emperor, like the Senate didn’t agree with Caesar.  Another reason might have been because an individual or individuals were angry with the emperor, like the conflicts between Marc Antony and Octavian.  Another motive for might be the desire to remove a ruler from their position, again, like the Senate wanted Caesar out.  On the other hand, in the United States, there is also violence within the government.  There have been several assassinations and assassination attempts directed towards our president, with motives similar to those in Ancient Rome.  For example, John Wilkes Booth didn’t agree with how Lincoln was running the country, and he was also angry at him because of the outcome of the Civil War.  So, what did he do?  He violently ripped away one of the best presidents America has ever seen.  Another common motive for an assassin would be, much like Caesar in Ancient Rome, were not wanted in office, or rule.  Lee Harvey Oswald certainly didn’t want John F. Kennedy, another famous president whose life was ended much too early, in office.  So, like the Senate did with Caesar, he got rid of him for good.  As shown, the violence within both the American government and the Ancient Roman government was the result of motives very similar, like anger, conflicts with relationships, and more

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2: Why Would Someone Want to Assassinate the President of the United States?

2: Why Would Someone Want to Assassinate the President of the United States? | Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations | Scoop.it

(Pictured above is the U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln)

Loren's insight:

Everyone is aware that being the President of the United States is a very stressful job; having to make decisions for the entire country, being in charge of so many different people, constant death threats hanging over the their head.  Several of our presidents, unfortunately, have suffered the result of those threats actually following through.  A very famous assassination occurred in 1865, inside of a balcony in the Ford’s Theatre, which is located in Washington D.C.  The president: Mr. Abraham Lincoln.  His murderer was a man by the name of John Wilkes Booth, who had plotted that moment for a long time, originally planning to kidnap President Lincoln.  When this didn’t work out and he found out that Lincoln was going to be attending a show at Ford’s Theatre, he jumped on the opportunity.  He’d had previous experience with theatre, and was able to have access to the balcony because of that.

 

So, many know how he killed one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.  Yet, still remains the question: why?  Right before Lincoln suffered a death much too prematurely, he’d worked a lot with civil rights.  The Civil War had just ended, and not to the Confederacy’s favour.  This deeply upset John Wilkes Booth, because he was a major supporter of slavery, and he believed that Lincoln wanted to destroy the South and overthrow the Constitution.  He definitely wasn’t happy that the Union had been victorious during the Civil War, and he was angry that Lincoln was bringing the Confederacy back into the Union.  He wanted slavery to continue.  However, Lincoln wanted to abolish the unfair and unconstitutional concept of slavery, and give citizenship to African Americans.  He made this clear during a speech he presented not long before his death.  This, in Booth’s eyes, was the last straw, and after Lincoln’s speech Booth said to Lewis Powell, someone he was working with in his plots against Lincoln, “Now, by God, I’ll put him through. That is the last speech he will ever make.”  And, in fact, Booth held true to his words.  Three days later he assassinated President Lincoln.  However, Lincoln wasn’t the only target that terrible, famous night in 1865.  Booth, and his group of assassins, were also plotting to take the lives of the Vice President, General Ulysses S. Grant, as well as the Secretary of State.  They believed that if their plan carried out, and all of these important people were out of the picture, there would be enough time for the Confederacy to gain enough power that they could rise up against the Union again.  Thankfully, the entire plan did not carry out.  However, Booth did manage to rip away the one man that was said to have “bound up the nation’s wounds” after years of war and fighting, and will always be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.

 

The ghastly deed of Lincoln’s murder is rooted back hundreds of years ago to 1865.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the only president whose life was ended much too prematurely.  Among these are also John F. Kennedy, William McKinley, and James Garfield.  There are several different motives of the assassins would took these presidents’ lives.  Many times assassination attempts, or actual assassinations are the result of the hatred of the assassin themselves.  Often it is because they do not agree with the president, or what they are doing with the country.  Maybe they just despise authority.  Another reason someone would assassinate one of the most important people of the United States might be because they do not share the same beliefs or values the president does.  There are many reasons why someone might feel they are doing the right thing by committing such a horrible deed, and the motives listed above are just some of them.

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4: Bibliography

4: Bibliography | Violence: Ancient Rome Government and U.S. Presidental Assassinations | Scoop.it
Loren's insight:

"Presidential Assassinations and Assassination Attempts." About.com American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/a/assassinations.htm>.

 

"U.S. Presidential Assassinations And attempts." Timelines.latimes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://timelines.latimes.com/us-presidential-assassinations-and-attempts/>.

 

"Teaching History.org, Home of the National History Education Clearinghouse."Booth's Reason for Assassination. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/24242>.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YpnEAu7fJWs/TIfQwqBTChI/AAAAAAAAAFY/44XbjXlTbKI/s1600/Julius.Caesar.1.jpg

 

http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/abraham-lincoln-picture.jpg

 

http://www.americanflagstore.com/media/catalog/category/outdoor-american-flag.jpg

 

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/17/books.jpg

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