Expansion of the Roman Republic Creates Problems Created by Julie Marnell

Expansion of the
Roman Republic
Creates Problems
Created by Julie Marnell
By 146 BCE, Rome had conquered Carthage
and taken all of its colonies in Spain. Rome
expanded into Greece and the Eastern
Mediterranean. But there were problems
caused by expansion.
Problem #1: Slavery
• Carthaginians were sold into slavery in Rome to
wealthy Roman landowners.
• These slaves worked on the large estates called
• Small farmers didn’t have slaves so they were
forced to sell their land to the rich landowners
because they could not compete. These poor
farmers headed for the cities.
The rich became richer and the poor became poorer.
•Small farmers moved to
the cities to find work but
there were no jobs.
•Soldiers returned
from war to find their
lands sold. They too
headed to the cities to
find work but there
were no jobs.
Problem #2 – Rising Unemployment
Problem #3 Economic Instability led to social unrest
•Riots took place as inflation and
devaluation of the currency left the
poor unable to pay for food.
•A few politicians tried to give land
back to the poor and they were
What is inflation?
The republican government which was
controlled by an small group of wealthy
families did not take action to help the
growing crisis of poverty .
Civil unrest led to civil war
during the first century
Julius Caesar
•Poor men joined the
personal armies of military
generals including the army
of Julius Caesar, an
ambitious general who
sought social reform.
•Caesar had gained
popularity in Rome by
sponsoring gladiator games.
His military victories in Gaul
(present-day France) made
him very popular among
his men and with the people.
Caesar fought side-by-side with his troops
Caesar Gains Power
•Caesar had been appointed to the
first triumvirate, consisting of Caesar,
Crassus and Pompey.
•The Senate became troubled by his
power and ordered him to return to
Rome and disband his troops.
•Caesar defied orders and crossed
the Rubicon River with his
troops – an act of treason. What is
• Caesar claimed control of Rome
and named himself “Dictator for Life.”
Caesar’s Reforms Helped the Poor
•Redistributed land to his army and his supporters
•Began large construction projects providing jobs
to the poor
•Offered citizenship to many non-Romans living in
the provinces
Caesar’s Assassination – 44 BCE
Why was he killed?
1. Senators troubled by his power
2. Added 600 friends to the Senate
3. Granted citizenship to many conquered people.
4. Rich were losing influence
Other reasons
•Slept with Senators wives
•Romans did not want an
Egyptian queen
Last words – “Et tu Brute”
Chaos in Rome
• Caesar did not have a succession plan.
Without a clear successor, Rome was
again thrown into a civil war.
• A second Triumvirate formed and
restored order in 43 BCE.
What is a Triumvirate?
The Second Triumvirate
• Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus band
together to bring order to Rome and to
hunt Julius’s killers.
• Octavian was Julius’s grand nephew and
adopted son.
• Octavian and Mark Antony have a falling
out due to M.A.’s involvement with
• Octavian declares war on Mark Antony.
With Mark Antony’s death
followed by Cleopatra’s
death, Octavian renamed
himself “Caesar Augustus”
which means “exalted” one.
Caesar Augustus’ becomes
the Emperor in 31 BCE which
begins the Pax Romana or
200 years of
Roman Peace.
Created by Julie Marnell