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2-2 ... Crisis_Roman_Republic_outline - Copy

2-2 ... Crisis_Roman_Republic_outline - Copy - Crisis of...

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Crisis of the Late Roman Republic I. Causes of historical change? Structural? Individuals and events? a. Historical change i. The collapse of the roman republic… not the same as the empire ii. Structural – broad social trends, economic, demographic… not a single individual… but yet some argue it could be single individuals and single events iii. Structural problems within the system before Caesar… Caesar’s actions might have caused the collapse and might have not iv. Problems that Romans never addressed after the punic war 1. Became an overseas empire for a little while 2. The disparities between the rich and the poor became greater II. Empire → Social changes a. Influx of slaves i. Imported from territories ii. To work latifundia 1. Displaced poor roman citizens b. Urban problems: vets, displaced poor i. Unemployed vets were huge… nothing to do… move to city homeless too… ii. Poor disgruntled people in Rome c. Citizen army and empire? i. Every soldier is also a landholder was harder to attain… d. Mounting tensions… i. Major turning point in Roman history
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ii. 133 and 134 BC III. Gracchi brothers a. Tiberius Gracchus (c. 133 BC), land redistribution i. Became tribune in 133 ii. Political plan he wanted to propose to the assembly 1. Went ahead with it… designed to help poor 2. State owned land in Italy… rich landowners had encroached on the land and were squatters … 3. To re-appropriate the land that Rome technically owned anyways then redistribute it to the poor people in the city 4. You get a new batch of land owning citizens you can recruit for the army 5. The poor became very excited…. The rich just about lost their mind 6. Lots of rich people who don’t like Tiberius in senate a. Ignored senate, didn’t run it by them first, took it directly to assembly… he did get the bill passed eventually… 7. Result? He got very powerful… iii. Precedent of violence in politics 1. 1 year in office… Tiberius demanded that he run for a 2 nd year because of power… His methods are starting to become worrisome…. 2. On election day, a group of aristocratic senators and their thugs showed up and beat Tiberius to death, they murdered him. It exposed the weakness of the senate. The Romans were big on customs and traditions. They didn’t have a police force, an army and Tiberius exposed their weakness 3.
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