Roman Government: Republic & Empire
Roman Republic Structure Executive = 2 consuls Legislative = Senate Judicial = Judges
Roman Republic v Executive Branch The two leaders of the executive branch, the consuls, were elected for one year by the upper class. They supervised the Senate and ordered the Roman army during wars. Other members of the executive branch were the tax collectors, mayors, city police, and other people in positions of power in cities. v Legislative Branch The most powerful part of the legislative branch was the Senate. The Senate was a group of about 300 male citizens who owned land. They could tell the consuls how much money they could spend and on what. These men were appointed by the consuls. Once you got into the Senate, you stayed in for the rest of your life. v Judicial Branch The judicial branch had six judges who were elected every two years. They
Roman Republic— Conquering Heros? v Once the Romans began conquering other places, far away from the city of Rome, they also had a system of provincial governors – men who took charge of a province of the Empire, and who heard court cases there. They were also in charge of the army while it was conquering places. v By about 50 BC, the time of Julius Caesar, these generals had begun to take over the government and not pay any attention to the consuls or the Senate anymore, and just do as they pleased. They could do that, because they had the army with them.
Only Some of the Republic’s Problems: v #1 Unemployment too many slaves flooded the employment market, and Roman citizens couldn’t find any jobs. v #2 Taxation Corruption and tax farmers led to unfair taxation practices. v #3 Civil Violence Private armies created havoc in the city, especially around elections.
Slavery v You are Roman Consuls. v Slaves are brought back from each conquered land. These slaves are assigned jobs in the factories and on the farms, working for much less than any free Roman can. These slaves are putting free citizens, who are laborers and small farmers, out of work. Poor Romans are starving to death. v What can we do?
Taxation v The government needs to pay the legions, build roads, sewers, aqueducts, arenas, and pay for the welfare program in Rome. To get this tax money, Rome uses tax farmers. Tax farmers are Romans who pay a flat fee to the Roman Republic for the privilege of collecting taxes from a territory. To recoup these monies, tax farmers then levy a tax against every citizen in their territory. Tax collectors expect to make a profit, as they are in the business of tax collection. This is understood. However, under this system, there are many abuses, as the government cannot control how each tax farmer runs their individual business. How can we stop the abuses while still continuing to get the tax money we need to run the Republic?
Private Armies v Wealthy Romans hired guards, and even built private armies. During elections, these private armies often clash, which is creating havoc on the streets and unsafe conditions for innocent bystanders. At all times, Rome's streets are not safe for citizens after dark. How can we solve this problem?
Augustus v Also known as Octavian. v Was one of the three generals of the SECOND TRIUMVIRATE 43 -33 BC (an official three-way military dictatorship—Octavian, Mark Antony [Cleopatra? ] and Lepidus). How do you think that worked out? v Although Mark Antony was married to Octavian’s sister, Antony openly lived in Alexandria with Cleopatra VII of Egypt. v Octavian turned public opinion against Antony. Octavian illegally obtained Antony's will, and exposed it to the Roman public. It promised substantial legacies to Antony's children by Cleopatra. Rome was outraged, and the Senate declared war against Cleopatra. It was important that it was against Cleopatra and not another civil war. v Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra, chasing them to Egypt in 30 BC. Both Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide in Alexandria, and Octavian personally took control of Egypt and Alexandria.
Augustus—What did he do? v Unlike his predecessor and adoptive father, Julius Caesar, Octavian slowly consolidated his position and accepted honors and power gradually, minimizing fear and resentment among the elite classes v Octavian continued to rule through the domination of the Consulship. v Octavian established a permanent military structure that would include 28 regular legions, loyal to the state and not the individual commanders who had recruited them.
v Augustus conducted a major census of the city and provinces, which had long been neglected during the civil wars. v Flat tax rate v Outlawed private armies and for any army to enter the city v Border control v Free Trade
Roman Empire: Julio-Claudians AD 14 -68 v The four successors of Augustus, the first Roman emperor. v Tiberius (reigned 14– 37), v Caligula (37– 41), v Claudius I (41– 54), v Nero (54– 68). It was not a direct bloodline.