As one of the first republics and influencing empires, the Roman Republic is one that is commonly shunned due to the fame of the latter Roman Empire. The Roman Republic (509 BC – 27 BC) was mainly centered with the city of Rome.2 Future expansion gave the republic control of the complete Italy territory, the entire Mediterranean, North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, Greece, France, and much of the East.1 The Roman Republic came to a rise when the Roman people fought and gained their independence from surrounding influence. (Around 509 BC). After hundreds of years of Etruscan rule, the Romans developed a republic government that consisted of civil contribution by every citizen but still electing representatives to authority on their behalf.3 With the very young form of government came an unstable constitution that was mainly based on precedent of separation of powers and checks & balances. It was unwritten, unofficial, and constantly evolving.1 The Roman Republic was being constructed by corruption and financial influence, so there wasn’t much hope for a powerful and prospering republic.
There was constant change in the constitution, which was a result of the struggle between the Patricians (aristocratic-class) and the Plebeians (lower-class). Patricians had total control of the government for elongated periods of time, but Plebeians took action and move their way into consul, nonetheless, they were still bought off by the Patricians here and there.3 In retrospect, the government formulated a group of guidelines similar to the United States Bill of Rights if you will. The Twelve Tablets was the first form of law that the Roman Republic abides by, and it provided every citizen equality under the law. (U.S History – The Roman Republic) Reforms of equality were attempted, but like in any government then and now, corruption continued to reign.
The Roman Republic took on a Senate as their governing body. The Roman Senate used to be an advisory for the Roman Kings. Then after the Etruscan Kings were banned, the Senate became the empowered governing body. And so, the Senate consisted of chief executives, consuls, and representatives, tribunes. But since the Patricians had corrupted influence within the Senate and the Plebeians always drew the short end of the stick, they would attempt to get power in the Senate and usually succeeded. (U.S History – The Roman Republic) Consequently, instability of the government grew with the constant power struggle within the Senate itself, which caused tremendous anarchy and burning of the republic.
The demise of the Roman Republic can be broken down into three vital periods, after the battle of the Allia (387 BC) which is known to be one the most catastrophic defeats in Roman and even empirical history. The First period being the start of the Punic Wars (261 BC), the second period lasting from the Punic Wars until the rise of the Gracchi Brothers (134 BC), and thirdly from the Gracchi Brothers to the rise of Julius Caesar (30 BC). The Punic Wars (246 BC – 146 BC) were fought between the eager expanding Roman Republic and the Carthaginians who had claim of Sicily, the territory north of African the Romans were interested in. (U.S History – The Roman Republic) And the Gracchi, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, were brothers who took leadership in an attempt to politically and socially reform the Roman Republic so the Plebeians can have significance in the Republic. The Gracchi led the fall events of the Roman Republic.5 Unfortunately, Tiberius and Gaius took on overwhelming reforms that backfired and later involved riots. This resulted in the death of the both of them, on two separate occasions. (About – The Gracchi Brothers) The fall of the republic was like a volcanic eruption and the lava of the wars and fallen leaders didn’t stop running until there was no more hope for it build up again.
Soon after Gracchi had past, a new regime of power and leadership reigned for the last couple of…