It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy . . . great improvement . . . were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients.
Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers Federalist No. 9