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This is a good question. In Roman history, especially in the beginning of Rome, there were two groups of people and there was a strong demarcation between these two groups. We can call the upper-class who owned pretty much everything, including the land, patricians.
The plebeians were the common people that made up most of the population.
In time, the plebeians revolted and they were in serious debt and there was food shortages. Livy book two recounts all of these stories. The climax of the plebeian claim came when a solider not only lost his property during his military service against the Sabines, but was also beaten by his debtors when he could not pay. He even had the scars to prove his mistreatment. In time, the 12 Tables (laws) were published to protect the plebeians more and the tribune of the plebs was established to check the power of the patricians.
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