Essay about The Effect of the Slave Wars on the Rise of a Roman Imperial State

Essay about The Effect of the Slave Wars on the Rise of a Roman Imperial State

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During the latter part of the Roman Republic, the extensive military conquest of the Mediterranean and Near East set up a domino effect in the Roman Empire. The military, staffed mainly by previously agricultural peasants, brought back a plethora of wealth and slaves to the Empire. This, in turn, caused the political elite to become ultra-wealthy. Using their recently gained wealth, the Roman political elite purchased large tracts of agricultural land, latifundia, and staffed them with slaves. Because of the abundance of slaves and the scarcity of agricultural peasants, it was economically prudent for the elite to use large numbers of slaves to work their land.
When the peasants returned home, the slaves occupied their former jobs, or their land had been purchased to form larger estates, forcing a large influx of people into the city of Rome to search for work. The unprecedented number of people living in Rome created the problems of inadequate housing, sanitation and food. In order to solve this problem, Tiberius Graccus suggested legislation to limit the amount of public land the ...

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