World History I
January 23, 2015
This paper will discuss the influence civilizations had on the development of the roman republic and empire. The Neolithic revolution had a huge impact on the development of social classes and government structure. The Romans established a form of government, a republic stemming back to the Neolithic revolution. During the Neolithic revolution social classes first emerged. The Neolithic Revolution was of high impact because it was when civilizations such as those along the Fertile Crescent first started to develop characteristics of what is considered "civilization". People whom were once nomadic, meaning they moved from place to place following herds to get food, were able to stay in one place because they started to farm, cultivate crops, domesticate animals for their own use. They even developed the system of irrigation, meaning they could move water from one place to another by a system of ditches. These people had simple technologies, such as a calendar, plows and even metal tools. As a result of all this, according to the river valley civilization guide (2015) permanent settlements were established, creating the setup for civilization and a system of society. An advanced form of society with a class system even arose, with the Council of Elders at the top, and average citizens as the majority of the population, being farmers, merchants, priests, and craftsmen, this hierarchy was very popular during the Nile river valley civilization. The Roman republic began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 509 BC, and lasted over 450 years until its subversion in 29 BC, through a series of civil wars, into the Principle form of government and the Imperial period.
The Roman Republic was governed by a complex constitution, which centered on the principles of a separation of powers and checks and balances. The Constitution of the Roman Republic was an unwritten set of guidelines and principles. Many legacies were passed by from ancient civilization such as the Mesopotamia culture, “One of these legacies was various legal codes developed by a succession of Mesopotamian rulers. Most notably among these rulers was Hammurabi(r. 1792-1750 B.C.E.), a Babylonian ruler who had various legal codes, guidelines, and precedents compiled.” (Evans 2008) This compilation was part of his larger effort to standardize the administration of his kingdom. The evolution of the constitution was heavily influenced by the struggle between the aristocracy (the patricians), and other talented Romans who were not from famous families, the plebeians. Early in its history, the republic was controlled by an aristocracy of individuals who could trace their ancestry back to the early history of the kingdom. Over time, the laws that allowed these individuals to dominate the government were repealed, and the result was the emergence of a new aristocracy, which depended on the structure of society, rather than the law, to maintain its dominance.
The Senate’s elected by the people and was the highest authority in the Roman Republic, deriving from the esteem and prestige of the Senate. This esteem and prestige was based on precedent and custom, as well as the high caliber and prestige of the Senators. Requirements for becoming a senator included having at least 100,000 denarii worth of land, being born of the patrician…