Ancient Rome 700 B.C. (B.C.E.) to 500 A.D. (C.E.)
Democracy in Ancient Rome
- Class notes (see bolded text in Instructional Activities below)
- Historical examples of U.S. exclusion of certain groups from the governing process
- Overhead projector (optional)
- Teacher-selected reading, worksheet, or activity
- Review content covered to this point in the unit.
- Ask students to define the term democracy. Encourage them to explain what their definition means. Ask students to identify who is involved in the government process in a democracy.
- Explain that ancient Rome developed a democratic government, which provided a foundation for modern democracy.
- Instruct students to write the following terms in their notes and take a few minutes to define them:
• Roman slaves (definition should include slaves’ origins)
- After students have had time to define the above terms, discuss the definitions in class. Encourage students to compare patricians and plebeians in ancient Rome to segments of current-day society in the United States.
- Put the following note on the board or overhead:
While the Roman Republic was a representative democracy, women, non-Romans living in the Republic, and slaves were excluded from the governing process.
- As a class, discuss how this type of government can be called a democracy. Ask students if the United States, as a democratic government, ever excluded certain groups from the governing process. Provide examples and guide discussion.
- Assign a teacher-selected reading, worksheet, or other reinforcement activity, using available teacher resources.