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Thomas F. Madden
St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO 63103-2097)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020

The Fall of Republics: A History

Research and writing leading to the publication of a book examining the forces that have threatened history's great republics from Sparta in ancient Greece to the United States during its foundation in the late 18th century.

This project will produce a new general audience book that will explore the historical factors that have led to the fall of so-called “mixed-government” republics. These governments, consisting of separate branches selected by distinct constituencies, each with the ability to check the other branches, include a variety of states such as Sparta, Rome, Venice, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States. Through compellingly narrated events and lively portrayals of historical characters, this new book will uncover the dynamics at work within these historical republics that weakened their constitutional governments and planted the seeds of their ultimate demise. Although this book is not directly concerned with current events, it will, nonetheless, raise issues of interest to many readers in the current political climate. By examining the forces that have weakened history’s great republics we may well find ways to strengthen our own.