Human Legacy Course/The Foundations of Rome/Problems in the Roman Republic & the Responses

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Human Legacy Course I
The Foundations of Rome
LECTURER: -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 15:33, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

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Problems in the Roman Republic[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • Brings money into the provinces.
  • Improves the economy for the rich.

Attempts to Reform the Roman Republic[edit | edit source]

Gracchi Brothers[edit | edit source]

The Gracchi Brothers

Together, Gaius and Tiberius are called the Gracchi brothers.

Tiberius Gracchus- 133 BCE[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

Gaius Marius
  • 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