Blazon of William Blethyn’s Armorial Achievements

Arms emblazoned on William Blethyn’s Pedigree Roll

[Edited December 23, 2020 to correct inaccuracies in the blazons.]

A couple years ago I posted the William Blethyn pedigree roll with the promise of transcribing it. I’m a little behind schedule in following through with that, but I would like to make an attempt to blazon the arms attributed to him.

  • Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Gules, three chevronnels argent (Corenny hir Lydanwyn), 2nd, Azure, a chevron between three cocks combed, armed, and wattled gules (Meuric ap Tewdric), 3rd, Or, three lions passant guardant gules armed and langued azure, a crescent dexter chief for difference gules.
  • Crest: Upon a wreath of gules and argent, on a mound a Paschal Lamb proper, holding between its fore hooves a long cross argent from which flies a banner of the Cross of St. George.”
  • Motto: Et Mica Mihi (And a grain for me)

Requiescat in pace Jantzen Murrell Frazier

Yesterday, one of my 1st cousins, Jantzen Murrell Frazier, a US Army veteran who had survived two tours in Iraq, was killed while responding to a fire. He is survived by his wife, Leslie and four children, and his parents, Murrell and Debbie Frazier, and two grandmothers.

WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

I was a little over eight years older than Jantzen, and by the time he has an adult I had a family and we seldom talked, except for family get-togethers. I recall after he joined the Army that he had told his parents he was going to be stationed in Germany. As an only son, he knew how much they would worry if they really knew he was on his way to Iraq. During his two tours, he stared death in the face on multiple occasions. The articles below will attest to his actions in combat.
In the times that I talked with him after his return from combat, the greatest takeaway I had was his deep desire to continue serving. he was involved in several wounded warrior events. he talked proudly of his work with the marshals. I never really did understand what he was doing for them. I think his injuries held him back from the things he so greatly longed to do. Until he died yesterday, I didn’t even know he’d gotten involved with the Oden Ridge VFD. Jantzen was my maternal cousin, and I had paternal cousins who lived in the area. I live roughly an hour away, so I haven’t been to Oden Ridge to visit my family in years. My wife has cousins out there we see about once a year, so I’ve driven by where Jantzen had recently moved to several times over the years. I told him when he bought the house that he would be living a few doors down from my great-aunt Sharon. I’m a bit sad that I never had a chance to introduce him to them. I  hope the community will remember with honor the new guy who had only lived there a few months, but lost his life in their service.
Another thing I know jantzen was proud of was his gunsmithing. On multiple occasions he would talk of firearms he was working on for others, and he was proud of his own collection. I remember one story of when he lived in Hartselle and was up late one night cleaning his AR-15. Someone was in his garage attempting petty larceny, unaware of the armed combat vet just inside the house. Needless to say, the miscreant probably needed to change his pants after he escaped.

An account of Jantzen’s life as documented on the Internet:

More at ease in his jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap than his Army fatigues, Jantzen Frazier said the best parts of his brief visit home to Hartselle have been the food, his family, and the relief from the intense heat of the Iraqi desert.

U.S. Army Pfc. Jantzen Frazier, 19, of Hartselle has served with the 127th Aviation Support Battalion in Baghdad, Iraq since last December, where he repaired a variety of military vehicles.
Jantzen, son of Murrell and Debbie Frazier of Hartselle, arrived home Aug. 12 and is scheduled to return to service in Germany on Sept. 6. (Hartselle Enquirer, 25 August 2004, Hartselle soldier gets break from service in Iraq)

Sgt. Jantzen Frazier, was wounded in Iraq in December while on patrol in Taji, a town south of Baghdad. His father, Murrell Frazier, said an improvised explosive device exploded near his son’s vehicle. Shrapnel struck their son’s lower body.

Murrell Frazier said it took 234 stitches to close the wounds. Jantzen Frazier received a Purple Heart and is back on patrol in Iraq.

The Finis J. Self Chapter 2122 Order of the Purple Heart honored Frazier and Cpl. Jon-Erik Loney on Tuesday morning by placing their names on the Purple Heart Memorial in Hartselle.
“They are two of the youngest soldiers on the memorial,” Chapter Commander James Shaffran said. (Decatur Daily, 11 January 2007, Area warriors honored)

One memory that I remember from Iraq was kinda heart pounding at first then funny later on. It was when my platoon was taking the col and Csm out on patrol with us and the csm’s truck got hit by an ied. No one was injured but I saw the trigger man and started shooting the 240b then over the radio the col started yelling cease fire cease fire do you have pid. I was so pissed I keyed the mic and said I got fing pid … the whole time my finger never let go of the trigger. The only response I got back was well then give em hell and come see me when we get back to the fob. It wasn’t until I got back that I found out who I was yelling at. … This is why the col shouldn’t go out the gate with infantry because it’s a scouts job to do it lol. (Jantzen Frazier, 15 August 2011, One special Memory about your tour)

Zack Williams, an injured 304-pound rookie offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, plays a violent sport.

Jantzen Frazier of Hartsell, Ala., is an Iraq War veteran, a recipient of seven Purple Heart medals. In his last battle in 2007, he was wounded six times and broke his back in three places after he was blown out of a Humvee.The two met Tuesday when the wounded veteran asked the NFL rookie for his autograph at Bank of America Stadium during a real-time video game contest organized by the nonprofit Pro vs. GI Joe organization and the Panthers.

[Article continues…]

“It shows us that people care,” said George Bullem, a captain in the N.C. Army National Guard.
Easing readjustment

That’s what Frazier, 27, needed after his injuries forced him to leave the Army.

They came five days after he’d reenlisted “indefinitely.” He was on a 15-man patrol in three Humvees when a dump truck with 23,000 pounds of explosives rammed the convoy.
The blast destroyed two Humvees, and blew Frazier’s vehicle on its side, throwing Frazier out. Thirteen of his comrades died.
He was married and his first of four daughters had been born while he was in Iraq.
Still, he would have gone back.

“When you go into the military, you have a second family,” Frazier said. Readjustment was hard. Loud noises sent him to the ground. When he drove under a bridge, he’d change lanes so no one above would drop a bomb on him.

“I didn’t want to go out of the house,” he said.

Then he found the Pro vs. GI Joe organization, which also includes rehabilitation events.
Now he gets paid to go on the road with the group, helping set up and tear down events – and talking to recently wounded veterans.

“I feel I’m starting to come out of my shell,” Frazier said. “My family still doesn’t know what I did over there.

“But this has helped – I’m starting to feel alive again.” (Charlotte Observer, 4 November 2011, Pro Vs Joe News)

On Oct. 12, 2007, while on a patrol convoy in Taji in a command support unit with the 1st Cavalry Division, Frazier was manning his Humvee’s turret when his unit was attacked by insurgents.

Frazier was shot in the head. Seconds later, a second bullet ricocheted off his helmet and tore into his side. The impact knocked him unconscious and shattered several vertebras. Miraculously, his Kevlar helmet proved to be the young Soldier’s best weapon, stopping the quarter-size bullet millimeters from penetrating his brain.

Although he doesn’t remember much from that day — his memory muddled by one too many concussions – the helmet the young man has tucked away in a hall closet is his reminder of how he cheated death.

“That helmet saved my life,” the married father of two young girls said, adding that he also has the bullet that almost ended his life.

Call it being at the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time, Frazier had already survived numerous firefights, roadside bombs and sniper attacks during his two tours in Iraq. He was injured twice during his 2003-2004 tour, and at least three times during his 2006-2007 tour. But it was the Oct. 12, 2007, attack that jerked him from the battlefield and on to a medical evacuation flight first to Germany and then Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio where he spent several month recovering from severe back injuries and a swollen brain. In February 2008, he transferred to Fort Hood to what is now the Warrior Transition Brigade.

Frazier loves the Army and would gladly trade all of his Purple Hearts infor one more fight. He admits it will be difficult wearing civilian clothes instead of his uniform and size 13 boots on his nearly six-foot frame, but more importantly, he will miss “soldiering,” which is why the Warrior Games were so important to him. When he was in Colorado Springs, he was back to soldiering, marrying his rifle skills to Army mission. (Gloria Montgomery, 17 June 2010, Peck Funeral Home online Guest Book)

 Jantzen Murrell Frazier, 28, was headed south on Wilson Mountain Road to put out a fire at a neighbor’s house when the engine ran off the road and flipped, knocking down a utility pole, about 3 p.m., authorities said.

Frazier, the only person aboard, was killed instantly by blunt force trauma to the head, Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn said.

Oden Ridge Fire Chief Jeff Duffey said Frazier, a medically retired soldier and part-time U.S. marshal, was an “amazing guy.” (Decatur Daily, 17 October 2013, Firefighter killed in crash: Volunteer was decorated soldier, ‘amazing guy’)



Elisha James Blevins

As is often the case with genealogy, excellent research has already been done on a particular ancestor, if only you can find it. With regards to my 3rd great-grandfather, Elisha James Blevins, the research has already been done by Robin Sterling. For the sake of posterity, I’ll provide the link to original and a cached copy from the Way Back Machine.

The Curious Case of the King of Mann

Given my fascination with nobility, monarchies, and the recognized noble houses of current republics, I often stumble across web sites for such entities, and those who claim (sometimes dubiously) to be noble. Recently, I found a website1 for David Drew Howe, pretender to the throne of the Isle of Mann. The site overflows with information set forth to establish his claim. The supposition appears to be hinged on the lack of a response from HRH Queen Elizabeth II to a claim to the throne advertised in the London Gazette in 2007:


Notice is hereby given that David Drew Howe claims incorporeal hereditament rights to the independent Kingdom of Mann or Man, together with fons honorum through ancestral descendant of Sir John Stanley; through the passing by letters patent of 1405 to his heirs, according to the course of the common law, for the grant itself by letters patent was warranted by the common law in this case: and therefore, if no other impediment existed, the incorporeal hereditament rights in this case have descend to the heirs general, and not to the heir male. All enquiries through Leonard Warner (Solicitor), of Green Wright Chalton Annis, 60 High Street, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3RD.


This article published in 2007 by Fox News could be interpreted as legitimizing the claim. An official of the Isle of Man, however, saw the matter differently:

“As far as the Isle of Man Government is concerned the Isle of Man’s sovereign is Her Majesty the Queen, as Lord of Mann,” Tony Brown, the island’s chief minister, has said. “I am not aware of any valid alternative claim to sovereignty over the Island.”,2933,317490,00.html

A nobleman of unquestionable lineage, the Earl of Bradford, maintains a website focused on exposing the purveyance of fake titles. I found no reference to this particular claimant there. I do not postulate however, that a lack of mention be construed as acceptance. I was able to confirm my assumption in an email conversation with Lord Bradford, who said “the King of Man is the Queen”.   There are other men who have taken somewhat creative circumnavigations around the  legal systems of Britain and Commonwealth to establish claims of nobility:

One major difference, however, is that these individuals did not stake their claims based on an ancient lineage, but in what appears to be actual legal loopholes.

A defunct website ( published by Michael Andrews-Reading took the Mr. Howes’s claim to task several years ago. It can be resurrected via the WayBack Machine. The latest working instance can be viewed here. I have not validated Mr. Andrews-Reading’s claims, but based on his analysis of pedigree put forth by Mr. Howe, it would appear his claim does not follow the rules of agnatic succession. He also calls into question whether the advertisement in the London Gazette and lack of response from HRH Queen Elizabeth II to contest the claim, serves as legitimization. Moreover, the fact that the site is defunct can be viewed in one of two ways: either Mr. Andrews-Reading conceded to the legitimacy of the Mr. Howe’s claim, or he decided that the claim was so ludicrous that it wasn’t worth the cost of maintaing a site to refute it.   Regardless of Mr. Howe’s claim, it would appear that he plans to remain a modern “king over the water“: 

Not much has changed day to day for King David of Mann, who lives in an unassuming home with his queen, a pistol-packing monarch named Pamela, and their princess, 5-year-old Grace.

“We’re nobody special,” he said.

His friends jokingly call him King Ralph, from the John Goodman movie of the same name, and he occasionally entertains their requests for an informal title, free of charge.

“They’ll rib me enough,” Howe said. “And then I’ll say, ‘OK, get down on your knees,’ but nothing really formal like that.” (2007, Fox News)

So what is my opinion on the matter? Personally, I find it pure whimsy, especially without direct, agnatic succession. It would be a bit like me pretending to the throne of Morgannwg based on a sketchy pedigree tracing back to Iestyn ap Gwrgant (Any highfalutin barrister interested taking up my cause pro bono: email me). Or like Judge John Hanson Briscoe claiming he should be President of the United States because his ancestor, John Hanson, was the President of the United States [in Congress assembled] under the Articles of Confederation. Mr. Howe’s lack of relocation to the Isle speaks volumes, but given the unpopularity of the notion, I can understand why he remains in America. Even if the claim were to be found legitimate, I cannot fathom how Mr. Howe would be able to assume the throne of a kingdom that was absorbed by the British Monarchy hundreds of years ago.

Further reading from this site:

  1. [Update 4/5/2021] The original website ( appears to have went defunct sometime after April 5th, 2016.

Hatching emblazoned arms

An excellent article on using hatching in emblazoned arms:

Coelius Servilius:
ARA everyone likes. It is a saying that warns of the subjectivity of tastes and preferences of each. We live in the XXI century and since the end of the last century we have the possibility of many colors represent a variety of ways, easily and at a relatively low cost. We even have multiple systems management thereof.

Pantone color palette.

The system to represent the colors on a computer monitor is RGB system. RGB is a combination of red, green and blue. It is a reliable way to represent a color. For print professionals is better to tell the colors with the CMYK gamut. Also a combination CMYK RGB type, therefore is also reliable. Another color management system is the Pantone palette. Pantone colors is numbered so that giving your reference can compose a pot of paint desired shade. Pantone is a trading system, so it is not advisable to reference your color palette, because as the owner of the code, can change anytime.

RGB, CMYK and Pantone, like others, are modern color spaces. In the twelfth century devised a “color space” for heraldry.

Palette heraldry.

Unlike now had to define the exact methods to use chromaticism. The gules is red, period. What is red? it is the color of blood, poppies color or some roses. , Come on, you know what the red and if you do not have a problem.

Illuminated manuscript.

Formerly the books were luxury items. The acquisition of a book was in the hands of a few and there were few who could afford the cost of doing a book manuscript. Still, with these books had the opportunity to represent the blue, red, gold, green … of glazes. With the advancement of technology and the invention of printing was achieved very efficiently in the production of a book referring to what came before.

Europeans associate the invention of the Gutenberg printing press, but Asians had already printed books centuries before we did it. More than a figment of a person was the evolution of culture. Thanks to this method could be stamping letters on paper and then bind. It took quite in assembling the letters to make a sheet, but once assembled it was very easy to make duplicates. He gained in effectiveness, but was lost in elasticity. Now was printed in one ink and could not represent colors.

A priest heraldista Silvestro da Pietrasanta Italian named Petra Sancta or Sylvester or Silvester Petra Sancta Petrasancta or Pietrasanta or Sylvester or Sylvester resembling in some language and “Holy Stone” in another, also known by his pseudonym Coelius Servilius invented in 1638 a system of traces to represent the enamel without the need to do with color.

And with this system may represent a single ink around a heraldic shield:

Party: 1 gold, an eagle of saber gold 2nd, a tree vert gules fruity with a steep boar sable, defended and armed gules, surmounted of three growing ranversados ​​azure.
Vert: a Gordian knot of gold, pierced by a sword low silver gold trimmed end of which is held by the skillful peak of a contoured silver dove with outstretched wings, and the fire in the snout of a fox silver, both in attitude undo; campaign ondada tucked in waves of silver and sable, a golden sun brochante loaded with the symbol of the Virgin Mary of azure.

To see more types of scratches to enamels called secondary raw, etc. should not be used, look at the entry written at the time. I leave the link at the end:

Related Posts

  1. Metals
  1. Colors
  1. Veros
  1. Stoats.
  1. Enamels side

Ten Commandments of Chivalry

If you follow any of the major blogs in the “Manosphere“, you might have noticed recently a bit of back and forth over the concept of Chivalry in the modern world. I’ll stay neutral on that discussion, but I want to take a moment to comment on the ten commandments of Chivalry:

  1. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and shalt observe all its directions.
    Claiming no creed nor doctrine outside that practiced by the first century Christians, I believe in the Gospel and the epistles, with their “primitive” form of Christianity that can be seen from the examples as recorded in the books that have been passed to us as the New Testament. I strive to “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent“.
  2. Thou shalt defend the Church.
    The church to which I belong claims no central authority other than Christ, thus the simple naming convention of claiming to be His church in a particular locale. Since my faith is spiritual, my battle is likewise, though I may face adversaries on the physical plane. This doesn’t mean that one sits idly by to allow others to slander the Christian faith, but it also doesn’t necessitate physical violence against the offender. Paul details our weapons as :

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. – Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)

    These are the weapons with which I defend Christ’s church.

  3. Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
    I must be understanding of others’ shortcomings, as I hope they will be of mine.
  4. Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born.
    This one is not very difficult for me. I have served in my Nation’s military and I uphold the principles of its Constitution. No matter where I may find myself in life, I will always love my homeland, where the Lord has blessed me so richly.
  5. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
    Looking back to verse 12 above, I see that my enemy is Satan. I must stand firm against him and those who serve him.
  6. Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.
    I see no call to a physical holy war in the teaching of Christ, though I find many examples of it in the conquest of Caanan in the Torah. YHWH commanded His people to commit violence against a people He had proscribed for their sins, and when the Israelites carried this out as commanded, they were blessed. When they showed mercy upon those to whom no mercy had been commanded, they were punished. Bearing in mind the historical context of the Crusades, I know where this command was directed, but there are may “infidels” that a Christian faces today. Given the spiritual nature of Christianity, this means, to me, engaging in intellectual warfare against doctrines contrary to those I hold as matters of faith. Following the physical example from the Old Testament, I cannot show mercy to a doctrine that is not of the Lord.
  7. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
    My circumstances do not place me as a vassal with feudal duties, but as a free citizen. Even so, I have certain obligations I must meet. I registered for the draft at eighteen. I pay my taxes. I obey the laws passed by those elected to office. I do not pledge featly to a president, but I uphold the portion of my oath of enlistment that still applies to me: that I affirmed “that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same… So help me God.” As long as my Country does not require me to do that which is against the will of the Lord, I will obey.
  8. Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
    This one is simple to understand, yet so difficult sometimes to follow. We live in a time of low expectations, where one’s word often doesn’t mean a whole lot, and pages and pages of contracts have to be spelled out to do what a spoken word or handshake used to seal.
  9. Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.
    This is one that I, and I suppose many in the western world struggle with. It is very easy to pass this responsibility off to the “government” since we are taxed to pay for social programs. The scriptures are clear that each of us has some responsibility to care for the less fortunate.
  10. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.
    In our world of moral relativism, this one might be the most maligned. No good deed goes unpunished. One must reject this abomination. A Parable of Christ makes this clear:
    24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
This is what the ten commandments of chivalry mean to me. It’s not holding doors for ladies, though if a lady is to be found, that would be in line with the type of kindness that a chivalrous gentleman would do. Bear in mind that a female is not always a lady, nor is a male always a gentleman. Those designations are earned and should not be flouted about willy-nilly based on some egalitarian claptrap that passes for civility nowadays. Chivalry is an honor code to be followed by those who act honorably, and extended to those worthy of honor.

A Republic of you can keep it, Part II

In a previous post, I touched on the topic of the instability of democracy. Democracy is an unstable political machine. It requires frequent maintenance and its gears wear out quickly. In America, the gears of the machine (i.e. politicians) must be replaced at two, four, and six year intervals, depending the particular gear being replaced. It is a machine that does not follow a set blueprint, but is in a constant state of flux so that known-good configurations are tossed out for the sake of change. This is the weakness of liberal machinations. While they may run for years, like the American Experiment (as it was called by Benjamin Franklin) has, but it could just as easily fail in a couple generations, like the Soviet Union did. The main problem being the notion of majority rule. If a generation rises, that for whatever reason, wants to radically overhaul the machinery, even if it is working, it is free to do so if it can garner enough votes.

It is interesting to me that a satirist from the late 19th century, Ambrose Bierce, envisioned in his stories a future where democratic systems as we know them did not exist. They had failed and long been replaced with monarchic institutions. In Ashes of the Beacon, An Historical Monograph Written in 4930, Bierce wrote:

“The habit of obedience to written law, inculcated by generations of respect for actual government able to enforce its authority, will persist for a long time, with an ever lessening power upon the imagination of the people; but there comes a time when the tradition is forgotten and the delusion exhausted. When men perceive that nothing is restraining them but their consent to be restrained, then at last there is nothing to obstruct the free play of that selfishness which is the dominant characteristic and fundamental motive of human nature and human action respectively.”

“Of the American form of government, although itself the greatest of evils afflicting the victims of those it entailed, but little needs to be said here; it has perished from the earth, a system discredited by an unbroken record of failure in all parts of the world, from the earliest historic times to its final extinction. Of living students of political history not one professes to see in  it anything by a mischievous creation of theorists and visionaries – persons whom our gracious sovereign has deigned to brand for the world’s contempt as “dupes of hope purveying to sons of greed.” The political philosopher of to-day is spared the trouble of pointing out the fallacies of republican government, as the mathematician is spared that of demonstrating the absurdity of the convergence of parallel lines; yet the ancient Americans not only clung to their error with a blind, unquestioning faith, even when groaning under its most insupportable burdens, but seem to have believed it of divine origin.”

Of course this is a fictional work set  a couple millennia in the future, but Bierce’s view of the failures of liberal institutions, which in America pass as conservative [1] appear to have some validity in the current state of affairs. The notion, however, that Bierce expresses in his work was not new, even in his time. Benjamin Franklin expressed his own reservations at time the Constitution was written.
It is also interesting to note how quickly the Roman Republic fell. Rome did not grant universal suffrage to all it’s citizens[2], but it did conduct its affairs “democratically”. This came to an abrupt end with the ascension of Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Divi Filius Augustus as Emperor of Rome. A BBC article documents the fall of the Republic, tracing its demise to the rise of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 133 B.C.. The Republic had stood since 509 B.C when Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown, and remained stable as long as the politicians kept power separated and followed the established checks and balances. As with all republics, this was a precarious balancing act, which was knocked off kilter when Gracchus brought the matter before Plebeian Council (the assembly of the Commons) and circumvented the Senate (the Aristocracy) in a bid to take parcels of state-owned lands being occupied by the rich and redistribute them to the poor. By bringing the vote directly to the masses, Graccus uncorked the genie that shook the tenuous foundations of the Republic. This led to chaos, the dictatorships of Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Gaius Julius Caesar, and ultimately the declaration of establishment of Octavian as Emperor in 27 B.C.. 
So an Republic that had lasted ±400 years prior to Gracchus fell in a little over one hundred years following his actions. If history is to be a guide, The United States of America would apear to be on track for its collapse into a dictatorship in the near future. Looking at America’s timeline, the Republic was born in 1776. It did not face a civil war until the 1860s, and faced its next major civil (rights) disturbance approximately one hundred years later. The current progression toward socialism and redistribution is taking place about fifty years after that. The timeline seems to be nearly halved that of the Roman Republic, so if President Obama is our Gracchus, then we should expect our Octavian in the next twenty to forty years. That would however, give us our Sulla at the end of President Obama’s term. 
Is that a bad thing? It’s not for me to say. The average well-to-do Roman probably stayed fairly well-to-do under both the Republic and the Empire, but we have other governments to pull experience from where that was not the outcome. Wealthy, or even financially comfortable Russians probably noticed quite a difference in their lives following the October Revolution. They were coming out of a monarchy into a “democratic” form of government. That government collapsed in the 1990s into Russia’s current government, which currently has its own Caesar-esque figure in Vladimir Putin[3]. 
Each scenario is different, but to ignore history is to ignore an opportunity to affect, or if nothing else, plan for one’s own outcome.

[1] American conservatism is built on the notion of conserving the institutions established by the Founding Fathers and enshrined in the Constitution. One must remember, however, that these concepts were very liberal in their time with their opposition to the ancien régime of Great Britain.
[2] Most of the inhabitants of the Roman Republic were not Roman citizens, and there were different classes of citizenship. There were:
  • Cives Romani – full Roman citizens divided into
    • non optimo jure with rights of jus commercii (property) and jus connubii (marriage)
    • optimo jure, those rights plus jus suffragiorum (vote) and jus honorum (hold office)
  • Latini – not full citizens but held the Latin Rights of jus commercii and jus migrationis (move within the Republic), but not jus connubii
  • Socii/Foederati – citizens of states with treaty obligations to Rome. Certain legal rights were exchanged for military service.
  • Provinciales – fell under Roman control or influence but weren’t even socii. The only appreciable right they had was jus gentium (natural law, that which is common to all people)
[3] A study of Vladimir Putin would be an interesting one in and of itself. Loved by many in his country, hated by others, and an enigma to the West, Putin has the makings of a Tsar-in-waiting. Not having a male heir, though, there’s not much to work with in the realm of dynasty building.