Here is a list of factors that could've MAINLY contributed to the fall of the Roman Republic
One of the main events that consequently led to the fall of the republic was when Julius Caesar was assassinated - scroll below to see my argument. But why was he killed?
Julius Caesar was awarded divine honours, titles, statues and the status of dictator for life (dictator perpetuus). The senators were jealous. Why shouldn't they be treated like Caesar?
Posh vs Rich
Julius Caesar treated the plebeians very well. However, the consuls and more the "important" ranks such as magistrates were mainly composed of PATRICIANS. Patricians were really jealous of the attention the "poor" people were getting.
End of the republic?
Was Julius Caesar becoming too powerful? Many senators thought so. They feared that Caesar may become a "king"-like dictator and the ruling system of Rome may return to the old one.
OF COURSE, the republic ended ANYWAY with Caesar's assassination...
This is what we, Ming Yin and Luke Meyer, personally think: (click any asterisks that appear in this argument for broader explanations)
NOTHING more could have broken the bond between senate and citizens as much as the sudden, highly unexpected assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15th of 44BC, which in turn created a different governing system of Rome altogether What uncomprehending shock of the Plebeians there must have been, at the thought of their leader, the man who had offered them free bread, the man who had given them land and money after successful invasions, the man who loved them all, DEAD. And worse - by his fellow senators! The riots that followed in anger and extreme protest at the conspiracy, followed by the civil wars that broke out suddenly, in particular the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Rome's Republic system was in danger of collapse from the start of Caesar's murder. When finally Octavian took over as Emperor, Rome was an entirely different city from what it was like when Romulus first founded it in 753 BC.
Of course, rivalry between the plebeian and patrician classes had been taking place ever since the Republic was founded.* However, the bond between Caesar and his soldiers and plebs was so high that the unprecedented anger which followed his assassination was incredible!*
Julius Caesar was a very powerful man. Winning wars all over Europe, and creating important changes to the calendar, he was an incredibly successful and dominant general. On the other hand, many aristocrats feared that his single boasting of unprecedented power over so many nations could result in the old tyranny system to be brought back again – though judging by reports, it seems that the common people loved the support and freebies they were receiving, not minding at all of Caesar began snatching tonnes of prominent titles. The patricians weren’t treated very badly either – no shocking arrests for the most trivial of things such as in the case of Greek legislator Draco, no hard and extremely severe forbidding many common daily activities. But they believed they were truly more important and should be treated specially, distinctively differentiating them from the 'poor' peasants of the Roman times!
One might describe them as 'tigers', waiting to pounce on any class-related ‘unfairness’.
And every day that they went to the senate, the more jealous they must have become of Gaius Julius Caesar. Seeing he every single day at work, listening to that hint of arrogancy in his speeches, picking out the times where he gloated about being such a successful general, looking at all the gold and riches he had been awarded... Though rivalry between poor and rich have been going on for ages, sometimes ending not before a bloody battle, the fact that members of the aristocracy were always having to experience slight brash and proudness every day of work must have made the fact that Julius Caesar was getting so powerful a tad discomforting in their daily lives.
It’s really just depressing that the patricians could not see the positive attributes of a good-hearted, considerate general. Though one might argue that he began to boast and brag about the great many titles and gifts he was awarded, we have to admit that this is just natural human behaviour – wouldn’t you do the same if thousands of the highest ranks of leadership and the finest of gold jewellery were heaped on you for EVERY prosperous victory ?
Nonetheless, Julius Caesar was indeed very good and managing the most powerful of nations. His skill and knowledge at being able to make his soldiers extremely loyal were incredible. I hope that this leadership model will be an educational and important learning tool for anyone who wants to be an effective leader to adhere to.
Right - what do YOU think? Please vote on the poll below!
*(From my argument above) This resulted in many political reforms, an extremely important one being when plebeians finally, in around 785 BC threatened to set up their own separate, plebeian assemblies, and secede. Since the patricians needed the physical bodies of the plebeians as fighting men, the plebeian secession was a serious problem. The patricians had to yield to some of the plebeian demands, resulting in a new law, Lex Hortensia, being created, which gave much greater power to the plebeian Assembly compared to the Senate. The Senate yielded to plebeian concerns over their lack of political power and over their level of debt to the aristocracy – who were constantly feeling as if they were superior of the Roman People.