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Explain the evolution of Rome from republic to empire.

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gll391412 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted July 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM via web

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Explain the evolution of Rome from republic to empire.

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:34 AM (Answer #1)

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As the Republic expanded throughout Italy Rome needed to manage territories and peoples that previously fought with Rome. The Republic began by offering a tired legal status for these non roman people. Roman citizenship extended to all living in Roman colonies which included the vote, expected military service, allowance to marry other Romans. Latinum Nomen- latin rights was citizenship without the vote. This status was obtained by moving to Rome. The Socii Italici-Italian allies were those who were previously hostile to Roman influence but began to show interest in becoming Roman.

While legal status didi keep subjects loyal to Rome by 265 BCE Rome ruled all of Italy and continued to expand outside the Italian mainland. This expansion would ultimately lead to the destruction of the Republic. The imperial system required that a Roman governor be put in place for the purpose of maintaing the political status-quo and coolect taxes and tribute. This led to corruption from within and thus civil unrest within the city walls. Rome was severely overcrowed, unemployment was high due to the amount to slaves within the city.

Between 49-31 BCE the Gracchi brothers tried to maintain stabilityby implementing a series of reforms but a series of slave rebellions caused great havoc. This combined with the rise of the generals of the Roman army caused the republic to fracture. Frankly, the Roman people and the Roman soldier began to have more alligence to the generals of the army than the Senate. Generals Marius, Sulla, Cinna, Pompey, Lepidus, and Caesar soon were elected as Consul, thus crossing the politics of Rome with the military. Now elections went to the favor of the generals and the generals began to consolidate power by the time of Octavian/Augustus the government was a mere puppet, to the power of the Roman army.

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