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The Roman Republic and Empire. Chapter 1 Section 2. Focus Questions. 1. How did the government of Rome develop into an empire? 2. What modern democratic principles originate from ancient Rome?. Romans.

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The roman republic and empire

The Roman Republic and Empire

Chapter 1

Section 2

Focus questions
Focus Questions

  • 1. How did the government of Rome develop into an empire?

  • 2. What modern democratic principles originate from ancient Rome?


  • Romans established a government called a republic (a government in which supreme power belongs to the citizens through their right to vote)

  • Romans thought a republic (indirect democracy) would keep any individual from gaining too much power

  • The 300 members of the republic’s senate were all patricians—the landholding upper class (nobles)

  • Senators, who served for life, made the Roman laws

Roman government structure
Roman Government Structure

  • Each year, the senators elected two consuls from among the patricians

  • The consuls supervised the business of government and commanded Rome’s armies

  • In the event of war, the senate might choose a dictator to temporarily take complete control over the government

  • The law granted each Roman the power to rule for six months

  • A dictator is a person who rules with total authority and often in a cruel and brutal manner

Roman government structure1
Roman Government Structure

  • The common people, or plebians, influenced government to have the laws written down in the Twelve Tables

  • They also gained the right to elect their own officials, called tribunes

  • The tribunes could veto (preventing a bill passed by a legislature from becoming a law) laws passed by the senate that were harmful to the plebians

Expansion of roman political system
Expansion of Roman Political System

  • As Rome’s political system evolved, its armies expanded Roman power into the eastern Mediterranean region

  • On the north coast of Africa, the Romans also destroyed the city-state of Carthage and established themselves as masters of the Western Mediterranean

  • Expansion, however, created problems

  • At issue was who should hold power—the senate or popular political leaders looking to enact reforms

  • Soon Rome was plunged into a civil war over this power struggle

Julius caesar
Julius Caesar

  • Military commander who emerged from the civil chaos and seized control

  • Although Caesar kept the senate and other features of the republic, he forced the senate to make him dictator

  • Jealous and fearful of his power, Caesar’s enemies stabbed him to death

  • Caesar’s opponents believed he wanted to make himself king

  • Caesar’s grand-nephew Octavian became the new ruler

  • The senate gave Octavian the title Augustus Caesar, and he became the first emperor

Pax romana
Pax Romana

  • During the time known as the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), the Roman empire brought peace, order, unity, and prosperity to the lands it ruled

  • Trade flowed freely to and from distant lands in Africa and Asia

  • Merchants carried ivory, gold, spices, silk, and other commodities

  • People spread/shared ideas as they traveled

  • Ideas about democracy spread to places the Romans traveled

Legal principles from roman times
Legal Principles From Roman Times

  • Accused presumed innocent until proven guilty

  • Accused had right to face the accuser

  • Accused could offer a defense to the charges

  • Guilt had to be established “clearer than daylight” through evidence

  • Judges interpreted the laws and were expected to make fair decisions

Legacy of rome
Legacy of Rome

  • Greatest legacy of Rome was the establishment of justice through the law

  • (A legacy is something that is left behind to future generations)

  • In the 400s, the emperor Justinian, in what was now the eastern Byzantine empire, reformed the Roman law code

  • The Roman Law Code became known as Justinian’s Code

  • Later, this code influenced the Christian church and medieval monarchs

  • The Christian church preserved much of the Roman culture in its teachings

Powerpoint questions 17 points
Powerpoint Questions (17 points)

  • 1. Define republic

  • 2. Who were the patricians?

  • 3. What were the responsibilities of the two consuls elected by the senate?

  • 4. Why would the senate elect a dictator?

  • 5. Common people were known as ___.

Powerpoint questions 17 points1
Powerpoint Questions (17 points)

  • 6. Laws were written on tablets called the _________.

  • 7. Define veto.

  • 8. What city-state did the Romans destroy that established Rome as the master of the Western Mediterranean?

  • 9. Identify the military commander who emerged and seized power amidst the chaos and civil wars

  • 10. Who became the first emperor of the Roman empire?

Powerpoint questions 17 points2
Powerpoint Questions (17 points)

  • 11. What does Pax Romana mean?

  • 12. What happened during the Pax Romana?

  • 13. What modern legal principles originate from Roman times? (four points)

  • 14. What did the Roman emperor Justinian accomplish during his reign?