The Roman Republic World History/Napp

The Roman Republic World History/Napp

The Roman Republic World History/Napp

“Italy is a long, narrow, boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea. Rome was a city-state located on a fertile plain in the middle of Italy near the west coast. To the north, the AlpsMountains protected Rome and the rest of Italy from most invaders. The sea provided further protection against invaders, while serving as a route for Roman trade and expansion.

The early Roman city-state contained two main social classes: patricians or wealthy landowning families and plebeians or small farmers, craftsmen, and merchants. In early times, the Romans made Rome into a republic. In a republic, citizens vote to elect representatives, or people who will speak and govern for them. The RomanRepublic lasted from 509 B.C. to 27 B.C. – almost 500 years. The Romans had two consuls. The consuls managed the government for a one-year term. Each consul could veto, or say to no, a decision by the other consul. Serving only one year and being vetoed kept the consuls from becoming too powerful. The Roman senate, made up of 300 patricians, helped the consuls’ rule. It had the power to pass laws. In times of war, it could choose a dictator for six months. The RomanRepublic was not a democracy because it allowed only patricians to vote.

Most Romans were plebeians or ‘common people.’ As citizens, the plebeians paid taxes and served in the army. But they had littlepower. They could not marry out of their class. Also, the patricians could sell plebeians into slavery if they did not pay their debts. However, the plebeians had one important power. They were citizen-soldiers. The patricians needed them to defend Rome against its enemies. In 494 B.C., the RomanRepublic gave the plebeians the right to elect two tribunes or representatives of the plebeian class. The tribunes could veto any law that they did not like. Finally, the Roman senate eventually wrote down the laws of Rome. The Twelve Tables were Rome’s written laws. These laws included such important legal concepts as equality under the law and innocence until proven guilty. ~ World History

A major contribution of the Roman Republic to Western European culture was the
(A) concept of government by laws
(B) belief that political power should be controlled by the military
(C)establishment of agricultural communes
(D) rejection of the concept of slavery
To veto is to
(A) pass a law
(B) say no to a decision
(C) imprison a person
(D) extend citizenship / The Code of Hammurabi of
Babylon is most similar to the
(1) ziggurats of Sumer
(2) map projections of Mercator
(3) Great Sphinx of the Egyptians
(4) Twelve Tables of the Romans
One contribution of ancient Roman culture was the development of
(1) the concept of zero
(2) the process of making silk
(3) a republican form of government
(4) the printing press
Patricians, Plebeians and Twelve Tables / Government / Army / Expansion
- Patricians were wealthy landowners who held most of the power in Rome
- Plebeians were the common farmers, artisans, and merchants who made up the majority of the population
- Patricians inherited their power and claimed that their ancestry gave them the authority to make laws for Rome
- The plebeians were citizens of Rome with the right to vote but could not hold the most important government positions
- In time, Rome’s leaders allowed
the plebeians to form their own assembly and elect representatives called tribunes
- The written laws of Rome were called the Twelve Tables and established
the idea that all free citizens had a right to the protection of the law / - Rome had two officials called consuls
- Consuls commanded the army and directed the government
- But a consul’s term was only one year long and one consul could always overrule, or veto, the other’s decisions
- The senate had both legislative and administrative functions in the republic
- Its 300 senators were chosen from the upper class of Roman society
- Later, plebeians were allowed in the
- In times of crisis, the republic could appoint a dictator – a leader who had absolute power to make laws and command the army
- A dictator’s power lasted for only six months / - The Romans placed great value on the military
- All citizens who owned land were required to serve in the army
- Roman soldiers were organized into large military units called legions
- The Roman legion was made up of some 5,000 heavily armed foot soldiers (infantry)
- A group of soldiers on horseback (cavalry) supported each legion
- Legions were divided into smaller groups of 80 men, each of which was called a century
- The military organization and fighting skill of the Roman army were key factors in
Rome’s rise to greatness / - For hundreds of years after the founding of the republic, Rome sought to expand its territories through trade and conquest
- By 265 B.C., the Romans were masters of nearly all Italy
- Rome’s location gave it easy access to the riches of the lands around the Mediterranean Sea
- However, other large and powerful cities interfered with Roman access to the Mediterranean
- One such city was
Carthage, once a colony of Phoenicia
- Carthage was located in North African
- Rome and Carthage fought three wars known as the Punic Wars
- When Rome finally defeated Carthage, it set the city afire and its 50,000 inhabitants were sold into slavery

Identify and explain the following terms:



Twelve Tables




Punic Wars

- What limits were there on thepower of the Roman consuls?

- What was the significance ofthe Twelve Tables?

- Do you think the Roman Republicowed its success more to its form of government or itsarmy? Why?

- Do you agree with claims that earlyRome had achieved a “balanced” government?

- How and why did geography turn Rome and Carthage into rivals?

- Why did the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, enter Roman territory by crossing the Alps? Mountains are difficult to cross. What was his motivation for such a daring move?

The benefit of written laws is that
A) A ruler in a bad mood cannot simply change the punishment to satisfy his anger
B) consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds – there is no benefit
C) Create punishments that are never harsh
D) None of the above / Rome and Carthage battled over the Mediterranean Sea because
A) the best beaches in the world are located on the Mediterranean coast
B) by controlling the sea, the victor controlled a very profitable trade route
C) none of the above – the sea is not as important as the land