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What The Romans Have Done For Us
Denizens grudgingly admit that life has improved in some ways under a hated tyrant or invader.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-06-04 23:35:46 sponsor: Topazan (last reply: 2012-10-13 16:42:37)

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Many tyrants and invaders will claim they make life better for their subjects, but sometimes it's true. Even the most devoted revolutionaries will admit that in some ways life was even worse before the tyrant took power.

Examples

  • Played for Laughs in Monty Python's Life of Brian as the rebels discuss it.
    All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?
  • In Fallout: New Vegas Caesar's Legion is generally hated and feared in the Mojave Wasteland, being a merciless slave empire. However, a couple of people admit that they've done a better job at keeping their territories safe from raiders than the democratic NCR has.
  • On the Discworld, many Ankh-Morpork elites dislike Vetinari, because he opened the city to dwarf and troll immigrants and generally unorthodox. Still, they admit that the city safer and more prosperous than it has been in a long time, and Vetinari's predecessors were much worse. It's why he has Vetinari Job Security.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting, supplement Forgotten Realms Adventures. After Cormyr invaded Tilverton there was much grumbling by the inhabitants. However, the influx of Cormyrean merchants and trade increased their wealth, and the military garrison and the wall erected around the town reduced raiding by bandits and monsters.
  • The Simpsons: In the David and Goliath segment of "Simpsons Bible Stories" after Bart/David kills Nelson/Goliath II he is jailed for regicide because it turns out in addition to being a tyrant he built roads and hospitals and he was a better and more loved king than Bart/David.
  • Adam Hart-Davis hosted a series of documentaries titled "What The [Civilisation]s Did For Us" which focused on how some generally unpopular periods in British history (Roman occupation, Victorian times) lead to important parts of British society.
  • Undercover Brother has a bit probably inspired by Monty Python's Life of Brian, although replace Jews and the Roman Empire with African-Americans and the Republican Party.
  • A sketch on Horrible Histories has the wife of a crusader saying "Aside from [reels off a list of everything brought back from the Crusades] what have the Crusades done for me?"
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