Julius Caesar And The Roman Republic Essay

Julius Caesar And The Roman Republic Essay

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Starting in the mid-second century BCE, the Roman Republic was struggling because the senate continually placated the consul, and patriotic figures like Cicero were hopeful that the republic and its values would triumph over the political strife. Furthermore, new politicians like the Gracchus brothers were trying to reform a republic that heavily favored tradition and its elite. In the midst of this, Julius Caesar rose to power and was assassinated. The century-long culmination of attempted reforms, factions, power-hungry leaders, and ideological divisions justified the killing of Julius Caesar as the Roman Republic was too entrenched in its problems to implement needed political reforms.
The Gracchan Reforms, written in the mid-second century BCE, was about the attempted reforms of brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. Both tried to reform the republic by taking from the wealthy and distributing to the poor. The Roman Senate, controlled by the elite at the time, were vehemently against this reform, but they had popular support from the rest of the republic. As a result of their passionate political stances, both brothers died and the republic split into two factions. People in the populares faction were new to the Roman elite and reliant on political support from the people, and the optimates faction had people who came from rich, old-name families. This first split in Roman politics deepened and became more intense until it controlled the government as Caesar rose to power. Cicero wrote On the Commonwealth around 54 BCE about the essence of the Roman Republic, moral values and destiny, through a conversation between Scipio Africanus and Scipio Africanus the Younger. The treatise emphasized power-hungry leaders doing anything th...


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... the weakening of the Senate and dissolution of the First Triumvirate. By the time the First Triumvirate was created, divisions over who should be consul occupied the people. These problems and divisions created an unstable, dysfunctional republic that was on the verge of total collapse.
A century later, Caesar’s death is still justified because it sets a precedent for governments and states with strong ideological divides and political strife. Leading up to Caesar’s assassination, the republic lost sight of its moral values and destiny, which hurt the empire for a long time. The people seemed to think that Caesar’s murder would automatically fix the problems that dominated the republic for a century. This obviously did not happen, and Caesar’s assassination forced the people to recognize the deeply rooted issues that did not go away because of one leader’s death.

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