Constitutional Revolutions: The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Republic

780 Words 4 Pages
In times before Rome, many cultures had a common constitution, however, before the Roman constitution, a Greek historian named Polybius claimed these were flawed and too ‘simple’. According to Polybius these constitutions operated under one of four types, kingship, aristocracy, democracy, and mob rule. These constitutions with the formation of civilization, begin and with kingship and work their way down respectively and are cyclical, as Polybius would point out “Constitutional revolutions…change, are transformed, and return to their original state” (Polybius, VI, 9). According to his timeline of evolution, a group of people would rely on the strength of one man, and this man would be made king to rule over them, however, over time this man would become a tyrant, and would be overthrown. Next came the aristocrats, taking power the king left based on their merit and success. However these aristocrat families would become oligarchical and would again be abolished by the people. The people, fed up with corrupt leaders would establish a democracy, where all would be equal, …show more content…
Only the Patricians held true power, while Plebeians, whom made up most of the population had little control over anything, thus Tribunes were formed. For the plebeians to have power in government assemblies were formed. These assemblies granted certain rights and privileges to plebs, such as electing minor magistrates, and the power to veto Laws. However, these checks and balances still did not solve all problems the Early Republic faced. That Patricians social standing and influence among those in office retained most of their power with their ‘ancestral’ family, and conflict still arose between the two classes. It was not until the dictator Quintus created the Hortensia Law, essentially binding Plebs and Patricians under the same law effectively dissolving the barrier between both classes and ending the “Struggle of the

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