Essay on The Struggle Between The Patricians And Plebeians

1016 Words Apr 19th, 2016 null Page
From the beginning of Rome as an established nation, the struggle between the Patricians and Plebeians was present. What is clear as the Republic continues in growth and complexity, is a well-defined progression of popular representation within the government. The Struggle of the Orders represents a point in which democracy seems to begin to limit the power of the senate. In 494 B.C.E. when the Plebeians threatened to secede from Rome and establish their own state, the Senate was forced to establish the Tribune of the Plebs; a body of Plebeians representative of the popular interests. Tribunes possessed the authority of the absolute veto except in the area of military policy, and under dictatorial rule. Essentially compromising with the people (a common parallel that has presently escaped the American government), the Senate relinquished authority by forcing a check on itself through the representation of the Tribunate. Further progress came about fifty years later with the enactment of the Laws of the Twelve Tables, a code to be followed by both Patricians and Plebeians, and a sign of an increasing need for equality in the eyes of the law. Soon after, Plebeians would win the right to intermarry with Patricians as ratified in the Lex Canuleia, and in 367 B.C.E. laws were passed which stated that one consul every year must be a Plebeian, the office of Praetor should serve as assistant consul, and there should be a law restricting the amount of land held by any citizen.…

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