Essay On Roman Republic

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Caudill 1 Gibson Caudill Mr. Riddle 19 April, 2014 Rome’s Transition from a Republic to an Empire In 509 B.C. the Romans declared themselves a republic, free from rule of the Etruscan kings. (“The Rise of…”) From that point on, the Roman’s form of government would never include the title of “king”, in fear that a single person would gain absolute power. The republic included a dictator (in emergencies), the senate, two consuls, and several other positions. (Bishop) Although the goal of creating a republic was to have a government that represented the wishes of its people, the Roman senate consisted of men of wealth or power, leaving most of the plebeians, or common people, out of the picture. Many of the emperors’ policies strengthened the power of the government, and therefore weakened the power of the plebeians. By the end of Sulla’s rule in 78 B.C., grain prices had risen substantially and there was large gap between the rich and poor. (“The Rise of…”) When Julius Caesar took power, he initiated several reforms that were much needed at the time. Caesar spent large volumes of money on entertaining the citizens, while expanding citizenship to people of conquered lands and lessening the power of the senate. His policies threatened the method of income of senators and around 60 senators, in the name of saving the republic, murdered Julius Caesar at a senate hearing in 44 B.C. Civil war then erupted in Rome and lasted over a decade. At the end of the blood brawl, it was Octavian who emerged victorious; he would be the first Roman Emperor and would be known as Augustus. (Morey) Although the “Liberators” (Julius Caesar’s assassins), might not have realized it, the day that Julius Caesar died was the same day that the republic died; t... ... middle of paper ... ...the Pax Romana, a time of peace and prosperity in Roman history that lasted over 200 years. He did however, fool the people of Rome. He ruled as type of despot, hiding behind the illusion of a false republic. Augustus was careful to not raise the eyebrows of the citizens. With the senate was still intact, Augustus seemed to have somebody to prevent him from becoming too powerful. However, the power of the senate was weak compared to his, and he had the power to do what he wanted. This type of power, placed in the hands of an individual, would be passed on to other emperors after Augustus, some of whom would abuse that power. Rome would see the repeat of many of its former problems, and much blood would be spilled trying to prevent one person from having too much power; the Roman were back to back to where they started before 509 B.C., only they weren’t aware of it.

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