Why the Roman Republic Broke Down

At the height of the Roman Republic, Roman society flourished with the Empire constantly expanding its borders. By around the time of 100BCE loyalty to the state began to erode, which eventually brought about the birth of one man rule in Rome. Cornell (1982) argued in his book that the Republic broke down because of moral corruption and the ambition of great men, while Lintott (2000) believed that the size of the Empire was too great for any type of collective rule. By analyzing many resources on the subject this essay will prove that the Republic broke down due to the selfish aristocratic ruling, social upheaval between Patricians and Plebeians as well as the struggle for absolute power between great generals, all of which happened throughout the Republican era. Problems concerned with the needs of the people in Rome were often ignored, as the Roman Aristocratic government was preoccupied with personal interests. In this period of Roman society, the aristocrats controlled the government and weren’t affected by problems concerning the majority of society, so were content to keep a government system that was advantageous to them. The government tended to focus more on the wars happening to extend the empire than issues actually happening in Rome itself. At the same time, individual consuls and senators were more concerned with keeping the power than running a just government. “Among the laws which he procured( Caius Gracchus), to increase the authority of the people, and lessen that of the Senate” was extracted from “Plutarch”, (cited in Koutsoukis, 1989). Gracchus wanted to take the away this monopoly power of the Senate and try and solve the economic and social problems in Rome by giving power to the people. The government tended to ignore the issues concerned with the majority of citizens consequently causing many problems amongst the Plebian citizens. For instance due to the selfishness of the Optimates, the establish…

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