As the Patricians lot in life continued to improve, the Plebeians became more disenchanted. This led to the First Secession of the Plebeians. This was basically a strike. They refused to serve in the army, putting the Patricians in a position to have to defend themselves. They quickly realized that without the Plebeian soldiers, Rome would be destroyed. The first concession offered was the forgiveness of all debts and the release of all imprisoned debtors. (Outlines of Roman history, chapter 7,
The plebeians were the members of the general population. The patricians were the aristocracy. After the exile of the kings, the patricians ruled Rome. There were significant economic and political differences between the plebeian and the patrician classes. It was the abuse of power by the patricians that caused the dissent among the plebeian class. This dissent led to multiple instances of revolt by the plebeians. The first step towards removing the inequality between the classes occurred with the first secession. Subsequent hurdles were overcome as the patrician class recognized their need for the plebeian class. At the end, these revolts led to an equality between the two classes.
Firstly, we have learnt through this week’s reading material by Dr Morey of how the Plebeians made up the majority of Rome’s population and military, the First Secession in 494 BCE is evidence of this. Rome realised in an instance what a great threat it would be to her army if the Plebeians were to walk away. So important that the Patricians were willing to rid them of their debts and implement changes in government (Morey, 1901, p. 6).
The Roman Republic was created when the Romans overthrew the Etruscans. The republic was ruled by two consuls. The consuls were also the highest positions in government. In the republic there were two groups of people. There were the Patricians that were the higher class citizens. They were very wealthy and had a lot of say in government. There were also the Plebeians. The Plebeians made up 95% of the population and had every job except for any roles in government. They were even forced to go into the military unlike the patricians. In the article “The Roman Republic” it says that “Tradition dictated that patricians and plebeians should be strictly separated” and it is clear that they were separated but over time they weren’t separated as much.
...wealthy and had no political power in the early Roman Empire. They started out with no rights but as time went by a struggle emerged for plebian rights and eventually they earned their equality by rights of the law after years of political fighting. The most important political institution that was created during this time was the Senate who created a sense of stability in Rome and offered advice to the console of Rome. It helped Rome keep order in the land and aided in the governing of the people.
The ancient Roman society consisted of two main classes, the patricians and plebeians. Although the partition were the decedents of the founders of the Rome and holding the most power and wealth, the plebeians were the real base of the roman society and without them the roman civilization were not able to survive.
In the process of expanding and before becoming the Roman Empire, the Roman Republic fought many wars with neighboring groups, such as the Carthaginians, the Gauls, and a few others. Under those circumstances, some groups declared war on Rome to check its expanding power, but failed to do so. Some of the defeated opponents became allies of Rome (later, integrated into Rome and turned into municipia), while enslavement befell the rest. Consequently, Rome’s expansion and enslavement of others steered it into greater external and internal conflicts (which, led to the Roman Republic and to the rise of the Roman Empire). In fact, the enslavement of the conquered people further broadened the internal conflict between the patricians and the plebeians.
For men who had easily endured hardship, danger and difficult uncertainty, leisure and riches, though in some ways desirable, proved burdensome and a source of grief. The causes for the breakdown of the early Roman Republic cannot be attributed to a single event, trend or individual, rather it was due to a combination of all three in varying degrees. The principal and fundamental cause was the breakdown of the political checks and balances, particularly the Cursus Honorum from 133 BC onwards. This subversion occurred both accidentally and through the subversive behavior of individuals, unconsciously and consciously undermining the fabric of the republic in their quest for power and glory. One substantial outcome of this incapacitation was the emergence of violence as a political means. Once this had occurred the end of the old republic was heralded an autocratic dictatorship was born. The republic was born out of a collapsed monarchy and was specifically geared to prevent a centralization of power. The mechanisms to this end were contained in the Cursus Honorum, a document that outlined the ladder of offices. It demanded, among other things, 10 years of military or legal service before any magistracy could be held, annual election and two years between consecutive offices. This system was designed to ensure that no individual could become too powerful by dividing jurisdiction between several groups and allowing for veto. The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius are often blamed for causing divisions and antagonizing the aristocracy and particularly the senate by introducing laws and legislation that, although promoting egalitarianism for the poor, were catalysts to later breaches of the Cursus Honorum. Both Tiberius and Gaius had laws enacted without consulting the senate. This weakened the senate's power and started a trend of ignoring the senate that remained until the breakdown. These Graccian reforms included the implementation of a welfare system whereby Romans citizens would be given free corn and the Lex Agraria or land reforms that broke down the latafundia and increased the number of small-scale farms. The welfare corn system not only aroused violent anger from the nobility but also created an urban mob that relied on handouts and later participated in violence. Tiberius Gracchus ran for election to the tribunate for two years consecutively (123 and 122 BC). This was in direct contradiction to the Cursus Honorum. The senate, when they heard of Tiberius' plan, killed him.
With each new colony, a man with no legal or hereditary right assumed the role of tyrant. Once a tyrant opposed the opposition, made fellow citizens miserable or made his son successor too many times, he was ordered out of the leadership. Large-scale colonisation bought Tyranny to the Greek World.
Roman citizens that were not enslaved were broken down into two groups. The Patricians were the members of upper class Roman society, whereas, the Plebeians were the common people of Rome. Roman society did not allow for blending between the two social classes. Plebeians were treated as second-class citizens and forbidden to partake in government such as being a member of the Senate. Patricians were allowed to be in the Senate as well as hold the position of Consul. The Senate was the supreme lawmaker of Rome, and the Consul elected Senate members for life. Rome had two people in the position of Consul. The Assembly elected this position. The Assembly allowed both Patricians and Plebeians to be members. The Assembly was responsible for the