February 6, 2011
In 509 B.C., Rome became a republic, where power is given to the people. It was under this Republic that Rome grew and expanded into the most powerful nation in the world. However, as their territory expanded their republic began to fall.
After the Punic Wars Rome was committed to imperialism. As Rome was fighting Carthage, it was also expanding into the eastern Mediterranean. In their expansion Rome came across the Hellenistic rulers and Alexander’s Empire. They launched a series of war across the area and one by one, Macedonia, Greece, and parts of Asia Minor fell to the power of Rome. By 133 B.C the Roman power had extended from Spain to Egypt. The Romans then called the Mediterranean Sea Mare Nostrum, “Our Sea.” Their many conquests and trade control brought riches to Rome. Generals, officials, and traders obtained fortunes and a new wealthy class came to Rome. Wealthy families bought huge estates called latifundia, and as Rome conquered more and more their captured were forced to work as slaves on the estates. As slavery increased it hurt small farmers, and many fell into dept and were forced to sell their land. The landless farmers fled to Rome desperately searching for jobs, and there they joined the class of unemployed people. As people lost their jobs, mobs and angry riots formed in the capitol causing controversy among the people. As the riots continued attempts at reform sprung up, but unable to resolve its problems peacefully Rome fell to a series of civil wars. From this chaos came Julius Caesar who became the absolute ruler of Rome. Between 48 B.C. and 44 B.C. Caesar pushed for reforms. He employed the jobless and gave land to the poor. In addition, he reorganized the government and granted citizenship to more people. In fear of Caesar’s power the senate plotted against him; In March of 44 B.C. they stabbed him to death. With the death of Julius Caesar, Rome fell to more civil wars. Octavian, Caesar’s grandnephew would soon rule all of Rome. He took the title of Augustus and from 31 B.C. to A.D. 14 he ruled, and the 500-year-old republic ended and in its place an Empire began.
... republic. Between 509 B.C. and 133 B.C., Rome adapted the government to fit the need of the people ... the entire Mediterranean world. In the early republic power was controlled by the patricians, the land holding ... legend those in the senate murdered Caesar on March 15. Caesars Grandnephew, Octavian, and Marc Anthony ... issued decrees. In the event of a war the senate might elect a dictator who ruled ...