Human Legacy Course/The Foundations of Rome/Problems in the Roman Republic & the Responses
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Problems in the Roman Republic
- Terms to Know
- Publicans are people who collect taxes.
- Proconsuls are individual governors of a individual province, having similar power to the consul.
- Latifundia - Large estates (including houses and lots of farmlands) rented to the wealthy by Roman governors.
Problems with Latifundia
- Uses slave labor, which is cheap and drives food costs down BUT there is a spread of slavery in the agricultural system
- Drives the small farmers out of business.
- Migration of the small farmers to the cities, where there are no jobs and no room (more crime and dirtier cities).
Benefits of the Latifundia
- Brings money into the provinces.
- Improves the economy for the rich.
Attempts to Reform the Roman Republic
Together, Gaius and Tiberius are called the Gracchi brothers.
Tiberius Gracchus- 133 BCE
- Well-to-do (wealthy) tribune, this means that he is a plebeian.
- He wants to:
- Limit the size of the Latifundia
- Have land reform for the poor
- The Senate opposed both.
- The Assembly of Tribes passes both.
- Assassinated with his 300 supporters.
Gaius Gracchus- 123 BCE
- Tiberius' brother (also a tribune)
- He wants to:
- Give land to farmers
- Create gov't program to sell grain at a low cost
- Establish new courts to convict corrupt officials
- Assassinated in 121 BCE, and the reform dies.
Gaius Marius- 107 BCE
- Creates professional army:
- How? He pays the poor to serve him: homeless farmers, etc.
- What's the problem?
- Army owes its allegiance to the generals who pay them and not the Roman Republic.
- What happens to Marius?
- 88 BCE: Exiled by the consul, Sulla.
- Now because of Marius' idea armies can easily intimidate and control the Senate/Republic.
- Who will use this idea?
- Julius Caesar