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The Roman Influence on American Society

            Throughout history the Roman culture has been recognized as one of the most productive, as well as sophisticated, cultures of all time. Everything from the construction of their buildings to the way they played games has influenced our culture today. The travesty, though, is that we commonly fail to realize the extent these ancient people have modeled and molded our society today. There are many ways in which our culture would not be the same without the Roman influence. .
             Roman architecture has had a profound influence on our modern architecture. The United States has always been a melting pot of different cultures from all over the world. For centuries, people and ideas have migrated to the United States to start over and better themselves. The new people merged into the American culture, and the ideas brought with them did the same. The cultures that arrived gradually became imbedded into the American society. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there was an influx of architectural styles from Europe. Styles such as Roman, Greek and Gothic were brought into American culture. Immediately upon arriving in the New World, the immigrants began using the architectural styles used in the cultures from which they came. While many styles that were found in the United States could only be found in small amounts, others, such as the Roman style, could be found more abundantly. Take for instance the arch and vault. It was the Roman masons, who were very skilled in using brick and stone. They developed the roof form called the “arch and vault.” “An arch is made by using wedge-shaped stones placed with the narrow end on the inside of the arch, the wide end on the outside. An arch may be round, pointed or a combination of these (The New Book of Knowledge 1:376).” Our society has used the arch in many different ways, varying from an entrance or doorway, repeated along a wall as decoration, or used to support a heavy roof.