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The Agriculture And Government Of Rome

1622 words - 7 pages

Throughout the course of the history, Rome has been changed from its government to its influence on the citizens. The Punic Wars had an immense effect on Roman agriculture and their daily lifestyles. Rome had begun as a small city-state. It's constitution, its government, its social structure, and its moral values were those of a small, mainly agrarian state. All of these, the constitution, government, social structure, and values, adapted well to the governing of Italy. The Empire, however, which Rome had stumbled into by accident, provoked a profound crisis in Roman society, government, and morals? Of course like with all empires, the larger it becomes, the harder it is to maintain; Rome ...view middle of the document...

For instance, some of the skilled slaves were permitted to save part of their earnings so they could have the opportunity to buy their freedom later on. The advantage of being freed was that by Roman law, a person automatically becomes a citizen if he or she were freed from slavery.On the other hand, many slaves lived desolate and heart wrenching lives, and caused them to revolt. The most famous and violent revolt of the slaves against the Romans was lead by Spartacus in 73 B.C. He gathered a legion of more than seventy thousand slaves. In 71 B.C., the revolt was ended by the Roman army, crushing the slaves' hope for any freedom. For punishment, the Romans executed Spartacus and six thousand of his supporters through Crucifixion, a common method of execution. The Roman version of the death sentence, the convicted was tied to a cross and left to die a slow and excruciating painful death.Commerce emerged from the last wispy shadows of farming. A new class of businesspeople in Rome formed calling themselves the equites. They were quite powerful and rich, but had little effect on politics. Equites had other sources for their wealth other than trade. Just like the proconsuls and publicans, they made their money through indentures for public works, tax farming, and the benefits of war, which added to the already ruined government of Rome.The provinces were hit the hardest by corruption. Although the Romans were known for their talent in governing lands, their administration over the provinces, the newly formed territories, was not strong. Unlike those who lived in conquered Italian cities, people in the provinces were not granted as many privileges. They were not made allies of Rome and the people were not given the right to acquire Roman citizenship. To make matters worse, the Romans taxed the provincial populace ruthlessly. The provinces became the centers for local government as new cities developed in rural regions all over the republic's territories. Each one subject to Roman control, these provinces became a collection of city-states. A proconsul, which was a Roman governor selected by the Senate and supported by an army of occupation, managed every one of these provinces. The position of a proconsul only lasted a term of one year and there was no salary. Proconsuls gave way to temptation through bribes. After they served their term, the proconsuls became rich enough to be able to have a life of lavishness and wealth. Repeatedly disregarding the needs of the people they governed, it only weakened the condition of the Republic.Proconsuls were not the only government officials who participated in gaining wealth by depriving provincial cities through taxes. Officials called publicans also took advantage of the taxes imposed on the provinces. They had an agreement with the censors of Rome in which they agreed to collect taxes and give a predetermined amount to the Roman treasury. The money left from the payment was kept by the publicans. This...

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