Reforms to Make a Fair Government

By Sabina Taneja

Background Information

Ancient Rome started in 753 B.C.E. and ended in 476 C.E. It started with a mythical story called the story of Romulus and Remus. After Rome was created, it grew rapidly into a rich and powerful city. Rome was a peninsula formed into the Mediterranean Sea. It was surrounded by seven hills. It also had many mountain ranges. Some included the Alps Mountains and the Apennine Mountains. Rome also had a river, called the Tiber River, that provided a waterway to the Mediterranean Sea. These were all natural barriers that protected Rome greatly.

Government Overview

But that was not all Rome had, it also had an amazing government. Government is a group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.. The government protects a country, state, etc., and makes sure the civilization is always running smoothly. The government in the U.S. today is a fair government. But, in Rome there were many reforms that took place to make it like it is today.

Question Overview

Many reforms are made to make a fair government in every civilization. A fair government ensures that everyone has equal power and not one person or group has too much power, it also gives people a say in government, and it makes sure people follow the same rules and get the same consequences. There are many changes made in government. A reform is an example of a change. There is a variety of reasons reforms take place. One reason is if the people are unhappy. The government needs to make a change so they grow happier. Another reason is if someone has too much power. The system of check and balances and separation of powers are reforms made to help this problem. That way, the power is balanced throughout the civilization. Another reason a reform might need to take place is if some citizens are treated better than other citizens. These are some examples of reforms that might need to take place in a government system.

Rome Government Overview

In Ancient Rome, there were two main groups, the plebeians and the patricians. The plebeians were the working class, they had no say in government, and they had very harsh punishments. On the other hand, the patricians had a say in government, they had minor punishments, and they were rich aristocrats and landowners. When the patricians broke a law, they would need to pay a fine, but when the plebeians broke the exact same law, the could be exiled from the city! This shows that the government was not fair. The plebeians grew very unhappy with their government. As time passed, Rome made many reforms to try and make the government more fair. Before Julius Caesar became dictator, Rome was very close to a fair government. But then the gap between rich and poor started to increase. This made the poor very unhappy. So, Julius Caesar marched his troops into Rome and took over the government. He made many more reforms to the government to make it more fair. When Caesar was killed, a variety of other leaders made more changes to make the government ideal.

3 Republic Examples

1. Created 3 branches of government- The 3 branches divided the power and made sure not one branch was too powerful, it created a separation of powers, and each branch could limit the actions of the other branches. This reform was made because before, the Romans were afraid about one person having too much power. This ensured that that would not happen. The 3 branches were the Judicial branch, the Legislative branch, and the Executive branch.

2. Popular Assembly was created- This was created because the plebeians demanded more power. The Popular Assembly was made up of only plebeians. They had the power to vote on issues, like war. The elected tribunes which were plebeian officials. They represented the plebeians in the government and looked after their welfare. This was not all the tribunes could do, they could also veto any decisions made by the consuls or the Senate. Later, the Popular Assembly was given the authority to make laws.

3. Twelve Tables were created - The Twelve Tables were a set of written laws that the plebeians insisted to have. It listed laws about crime, marriage, and property. This made sure that everyone followed the same laws, and got the same consequences.

3 Empire Examples

1. Citizenship granted to people in Italy- Augustus Caesar granted citizenship to the people of Italy. This made Rome expand and grow. Rome now had more citizens and had people speaking different languages and practicing different customs.

2. Jobs were created and road were built- Augustus Caesar created jobs by ordering the construction of palaces, aqueducts and temples. He also ordered the building of roads. The building of roads increased trade between Rome and its neighbors. Traveling and communicating were also easier with the roads.

3. Laws were translated and written down- Emperor Hadrian ordered that the laws were translated and written down. This allowed people living anywhere in the empire to be able to understand and follow the same laws.