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Influences of the Roman and Germanic peoples on Contemporary Western Society

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Introduction

Influences of the Roman and Germanic peoples on Contemporary Western Society The Roman and Germanic Societies were the two groups of people that gave modern European civilization its foundation to become what it is. Their practises of government, economics and society are all reflected in modern Europe and the Americas. These two groups in particular contributed the most in the cultural unification of Europe by spreading their languages and cultures by conquest and acquisition of surrounding territory. Many governmental practises were first applied in the Germanic and Roman cultures- Feudalism developed out of their respective practices of Hereditary Monarchy and the Democracy1. Finally, one of the effects of these groups that is still very evident today is the spreading of Christianity throughout Europe and into Scandinavia and Siberia. The Roman Republic and Empire, in particular, is well-remembered for its aggressive annexation of land2. ...read more.

Middle

Upon their collision with the Roman Empire, the principal diffused through the Catholic Church. A Germanic Monarch was also the head of the local religious following, a system which would also later be used in European Government, notably the Protestant Church of England4. Rome, after its own monarchial period, adopted the form of Republic and eventually Empire. Within these governments were many assemblies which are still used today in the Western world, most notably the Senate and the Plebian Assembly. This was also the first major use of an elected term for government positions. When Caesar came to power, he eventually centralised the government and laid the foundations for his successor, Augustus Caesar, to declare himself the first Emperor. Many of the policies and practises of the Republic and Empire endure today in European government, albeit in refined forms. ...read more.

Conclusion

The social customs and governments of Germanic and early Roman society are still fairly prominent in modern European civilization if one knows where to look. Monarchies and Democracies, two of the most basic and common forms of government in Europe, are direct successors of the governments of Germania and Rome. The processes of Romanisation and Latinisation are still used today, although they go by different names- Westernization and Anglicisation. Religion in Europe is still dominated by the Catholic and Christian presence that the late Roman Empire excerted on the territories it ruled, and much of the local culture that existed previously has been lost, having been forgotten in the face of contemporary imperialism and religion. Indeed, almost every aspect of European culture- language, religion, social structure, economic structure and government- all owe their existence in part to the influence of these peoples. ...read more.

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