To What Extent Was the Roman Republic Responsible for Its Own Downfall? Essay

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‘The Roman Republic was a Victim of its own success’. To what extent do you believe this to be an accurate representation of the Fall of the Roman Republic? The Roman Republic was one of the very earliest forms of government and was the beginning of the greatest Empire that the world has ever seen. It was the first real government of Rome and comprised of the Senate, which was controlled by Patricians but could also be influenced by the Plebeian tribunes who represented the middle and working classes in Roman society. It was very successful and at times controlled vast swathes of the World. However, these very successes were also somewhat responsible for its own downfall. When analysing if the Roman Republic was a victim of its own success one must first point out the reasons for the fall of the Republic. These can be drawn down to four key reasons; one factor which stands out above all others behind the fall of the Republic was the various weaknesses of the government and the way in which it cracked under the Imperial pressure placed upon it which led to Augustus doing simply what was necessary to maintain the Roman way of life. Another key reason behind the fall of the Republic was the influx of slaves and money, which the new found conquering brought to Rome. Of equal importance was the individualism which arose in government which allowed Pompey and more like him to seek individual power rather than to work for the benefit of the Republic. A slightly indirect, but nevertheless crucial factor behind the fall of the Republic was the way in which the Roman Plebeians were not appeased to be kept docile and therefore the deep undercurrents rose to the surface and allowed tribunes and wide pleasing senators such as Flacchus and the Gracchae to rise to power with the newly emboldened working classes supporting them and through this the rise of violent politics. Three

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