Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The Roman Republic was formed when they overthrew the Etruscans. After that, they started to gain power as they conquered more land and people. As they grew, more problems arose since there were more people to govern and more people to pose questions about the government. The Roman Republic dealt with many issues that could have led to the end of their government; some of these issues could have been solved by making an equal class ranking system, treating their slaves more properly, and separating the powers between the Council of Plebeians and Senate more equally.
The Roman Republic had a power conflict with the Council of Plebeians and the Senate, which could have been solved by equalizing the power between the two. Throughout Roman Republic history, there has been a problematic situation where Roman leaders keep transferring power to the Senate or the Council of Plebeians. For example, Tiberius Gracchus was not going to be elected again as tribune because a man cannot hold office twice in succession. This situation caused Tiberius to rally the Plebeians to revolt because the Plebeians wanted a free state under fair laws by Tiberius where they were not poor or oppressed by the upper class. Consequently, the Plebeians attempted to overthrow the Senators out of the government so that Tiberius would be elected and the Council of Plebeians would be more powerful than the Senate. However, a high priest got the Senators to kill Tiberius after the failed attempt to overthrow them. Thus, the power remained in the Senate rather than the Council of Plebeians. Another example of the ongoing issue with the Plebeians and the Senate occurred when Sulla came to power. Since the Council of Plebeians had more power than the Senate, Sulla declared that tribunes cannot hold higher offices when they are currently serving as tribune. Also, he enforced a cursus honorum which declared age qualifications for holding an office and a mandatory 10-year gap between terms in the same office. He also carried out a proscription list so that people who were labeled enemies of the state were executed. These examples show how the Roman Republic could have ended because these situations had violence to solve power conflicts; it is possible that if there was a greater opposition from the Plebeians, there could have been a Civil War where the upper class was trying to restore order over the Plebeians. The power conflict could have been solved by making it so that both entities had equal power in the government. The issue is that both used violence to become more powerful in the government instead of trying to balance the power. This situation caused an endless issue of trying to be more powerful than the other. If they both agreed to share the power over the Republic, then they would not need to resort to violence and keep changing laws and powers designated to the Council of Plebeians or Senate. Therefore the Senate and Council of Plebeians should have made a deal where they must both agree on laws made for the Republic and powers given to themselves.
The Roman Republic had class rank inequality which could have led to the downfall of the Republic; this issue could have been solved by making a more equal class ranking system or treating the lower class better. The issue with the Roman class ranking system is that there were too few land owners and high ranking officials on the top and too many slaves on the bottom. This problem creates a situation where the land and slave owners must treat their slaves properly because the upper class is severely outnumbered. However, the majority of people (slaves) were being mistreated which is why the Slave Wars occurred. With more coordination and skill, the slaves could have taken over or destroyed the government because the legions and owners did not want to fight or kill the slaves, there is no gain for the Republic by killing the slaves, and there are thousands of slaves to kill. The best way to solve the class rank issue would be to equalize the class ranking system so that there aren’t so many people in the lower class. A majority of people should be in the middle class so that a lower class revolt can be controlled more successfully than the Slave Wars and there would be a lesser incentive to revolt due to a smaller number of lower class members. The middle class would most likely be better treated slaves with more rights because of the importance of taking care of Roman farms. They would have citizenship, voting rights, and fair voting divisions which would give them more reason to stay loyal to their slave owners. Another solution would be to treat slaves better because there is an incentive to stay loyal in order to get food, clothes, and a place to live. Then, the slaves will not revolt since they are being treated properly. Therefore, the Roman Republic would need to either make a greater middle class or treat their slaves better to avoid a catastrophe involving large slave revolts.
The Roman Republic had many issues with their government, but two of the key problems were: the power conflict between the Council of Plebeians and Senate and the large inequality in the class ranking system. The Republic had issues with Tiberius and Sulla changing powers from the Council of Plebeians or the Senate. To solve this issue, they should have made a more equal distribution of power between the two and collectively agreed on all laws passed. With the class ranking system, there should be a large middle class with citizenship, voting rights, and reasonable treatment as middle class citizens. If this situation is not obtainable, then slaves should be treated better so that they have no reason to revolt. The Republic needs to address these issues at the wake of Caesar’s death because if they do not, then the Republic may fall due to the domestic conflicts between its people.