Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:37:45 AM
Angilion: What the Greeks, and the Romans after them, had was not democracy. They were elitist republics. The common man did not have a vote, they did not elect representatives. It was a privilege reserved for the elite land owners only, even most business owners had no vote.
But even then they were only the illusion of being republics. The kings and emperors still held ultimate control, which is why several of them were assassinated.
Did those republics inspire the continental congress? Yes they did. But it was America that made it a realization for the common man to vote and participate in their government.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6:06:03 PM
Beer trivia from over here:
Beer was officially classed as food for centuries (not as silly as it might sound - it was done so it would be exempt from tax because it was pretty much essential given the dodginess of water supplies).
The British Royal Navy had a ration of 8 pints of beer per man per day...until 1970. The rum famously associated with sailors was a substitute to save space and weight onboard ship.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:57:35 PM
I've never understood the whole beer as alternative to water thing. Beer dehydrates you, it makes you pee a frack ton.
That depends on the alcohol content, mainly. Your body is trying to rid itself of the alcohol because alcohol is toxic.
The beer drunk routinely and in large quantities in the past usually had a very low alcohol content. Beer was safe mostly because it was boiled during the process of making it rather than because it contained enough alcohol to make and keep it sterile. There was low-alcohol beer for drinking as the default drink and more alcoholic beer for getting drunk. You can drink low-alcohol beer as a direct substitute for water without causing any diuretic effect - the hydration from the ~99% water content hugely outweighs the diuresis from the ~1% alcohol content.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:40:46 PM
Beer may have saved the world, but it was Tea that started the revolution into democracy.
The ancient Greeks weren't noted for drinking tea.
You`re not seriously suggesting that the USA started democracy, are you? Or that tea had anything much to do with that revolt? It`s true that American smugglers were upset because the reduction in tax on tea was making their smuggling unprofitable, but that wasn`t really the cause.
Would you like a list of countries that had partial representative democracies before the USA did? Even just one would negate your point. How about England? Formal partial representative democracy on a national level goes back to the 13th century here, more than 500 years before the USA existed. Democracy in some form in this part of the world predates England and probably predates recorded history.