Ancient Governmental Standards Essay Research Paper Governmental — страница 3

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governmental control form the patricians. Theoretically, the plebians could check the patrician rule through there own Tribunal Assembly. Plebians could win any governmental office, intermarry with patricians, and were no longer sold into slavery to pay off debt. In aculeate, Rome was still an oligarchy, ruled by a select few of the patrician class. Rome, led by the oligarchy, embarked on a series of conquests that led to the complete Roman domination of Italy. With a much larger land and population base, Rome became a major world power. After a series of reactive wars with the North African city-state Carthage, the Roman Republic was the greatest power in the western Mediterranean. For defensive reasons, Rome seized the Antigonid kingdom of Macedon and Greece. Eventually, Rome

conquered all of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the interest of state security. This meteoric expansion, completed around 146 B.C.E., was the ultimate downfall of the Roman Republic. Several leaders attempted to thwart the senatorial process and gain personal power for themselves, for a wide variety of reasons. Finally in 49 B.C.E., Julius Caesar was appointed dictator, or absolute ruler. Caesar began to consolidate his rule, making government less dependant on provincial governors, establishing a public works program, and assisting the poor and landless. Strengths of the Roman Republic The Roman Republic?s primary strength lay in its citizens. Its armies were comprised of Roman men, fighting to protect their home. Its government was Roman men who felt that they had a direct effect

on everyday life. Despite the control of the oligarchy, and ultimately the dictator Caesar, Romans felt responsible for themselves and their state. The only real weakness of the Roman Republic was its inability to govern without the immediate threat of invasion. Without that threat, class divisions were felt most harshly. As long as they had a common goal, patrician and plebian could work together. The Christian Roman Empire The Roman Empire replaced the Roman Republic with the assassination of Julius Caesar. Caesar?s adopted nephew, Octavian became the first Roman Emperor. Octavian further solidified the centrality of Roman rule, making the emperor the focus of the government. With further expansion, however, the Empire grew much less controllable. One man in Rome could not

successfully orchestrate the daily tasks of such a huge state. Provincial governors regained some element of rule, weakening the Roman state. Christianity did not have a profound impact on the Roman rule. If anything Roman rule had a profound impact on Christianity. Christianity expanded along Roman lines of power from an upstart Jewish sect, to a world power all its own. The Empire died, but Christianity still flourishes today. Strengths of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire was able to rule more efficiently than the Roman republic, with only one real ruler, his word was law. The Senate remained, but purely as a figurehead position. Even as the Empire brought about stability it contributed to the dry rotting from within. The corruption that spread throughout the bureaucracy, the

increasing dependence on mercenary soldiers and the rampaging hordes of barbarian tribes proved to be too much for the Empire to withstand. Characteristics of Success For a system of government to labeled a success, it must meet two major requirements: it must administrate its territory effectively until the accepted end of its dynasty, and it must be able to withstand more than one generation of citizens. Of the civilizations reviewed, only Athens, Sparta and Rome fit the characteristics of a successful government. 343