The conflict between the commoners and thearistocrats of the ancient Roman Republic lasted from 500 BC to 287 BC and was a political struggle for political equality.It was involved in the development of the Roman Republic’s Constitution.The conflict that preceded the founding of the Republic led to the separation of Rome from the Sacred Mount at a time of war.The first acquisition of real power by the Plebeians was the office of the Tribune.
The only people who were allowed to stand for election to political office werePatricians.Since most individuals who were elected to political office were given membership in the Roman Senate, this development helped to transform the senate from a body ofPatricians to a group ofplebeians.This development happened at the same time that the Plebeian legislative assembly was getting more power.The acts ofplebiscites were only applied to the Plebeians after the institution of laws by Q. Publilius Philo.
The senators lost their last check over the council in 287 BC.The senate retained other means to control the council, such as the close relationship between the Tribunes and the senators.The plight of the average Plebeian had not changed despite the conflict ending with political equality.Most of the politicians from the Plebeian families came from one of these families.
The Republic was founded less than 20 years ago.The majority of the Roman army was made up of poorer people.Their farms were left abandoned during their military service.Unable to earn a sufficient income, many turned to the patricians for aid, which left them open to abuse and even enslavement.There was no help from within the existing political system for the plebeians.They decided to go on strike.Rome was at war with three Italic tribes in 494 BC, but the Plebeian soldiers refused to march against the enemy, and instead retreated to the Sacred Mount outside Rome.The patricians agreed to give the plebs the right to meet in their own assembly and to choose their officials to protect their rights.It was .
During the 5th century BC, there were a number of unsuccessful attempts to reform Roman agrarian laws to distribute newly conquered territories amongst the plebs.The reforms were advocated by the tribunes.
The Lex Publilia was passed.It shifted practical power from the patricians to the plebeians.The law freed the election from the influence of the patrician clients by transferring it to the commit tribute.
The Plebeians weren’t allowed to hold magisterial office during the early years of the republic.The Tribunes and Aediles were both elected by the Plebeians, not the other way around.The Plebeian Tribunes tried to block legislation unfavorable to their order, but thePatricians often succeeded in gaining the support of one or another of the tribunes.In 448 BC, when only five tribunes were elected to fill ten positions, they co-opted five colleagues, two of whom werePatricians.Concerns that thePatricians would attempt to influence future elections, or by obtaining the office themselves, prevented the Plebeian Tribunes from exercising their powers.
The Roman senate refused to grant the Plebeians the right to stand for election as the chief-magistrate of the Roman Republic.The Consular command authority was granted to a select number of Military Tribunes after a compromise was reached.The senate had the power to veto the election of the so-called Consular Tribunes, who were elected by the Centuriate Assembly.The first attempt to achieve political equality was made by the Plebeians.
Several wars were fought between the Aequi, Volsci, Latins, and the Vii over the course of 400 BC.The disenfranchised Plebeians fought in the army, while the aristocracy enjoyed their conquests.The Lex Licinia Sextia was passed by the Tribunes after the Plebeians demanded real concessions.The law required the election of a Plebeian Consul every year.The Praetorship and Curule aedile were only opened to thePatricians in the concession of 366 BC, which was caused by the opening of the Consulship.
The main Roman assembly after the founding of the republic was the Centurion Assembly.The original Plebeian Council was assembled into an informal assembly around this time.They were dependent on their patrons because they were organized on the basis of the Curia.The law was passed due to the efforts of the Tribune Volero Publilius, who allowed the Plebeians to organize by Tribe, rather than by Curia.The Plebeians became politically independent when the Curiae Assembly became the Tribal Assembly.
The king nominated two equestrians to serve as his assistants during the regal period, and after the overthrow of the monarchy, the Consuls retained this authority.Cicero tells us that the Equators were elected by a tribal assembly.It seems as though this was the first instance of a jointPatricia-Plebeian Tribal Assembly, and it was probably an enormous gain for the Plebeians.There were never manyPatricians in Rome, even though they were able to vote in a joint assembly.Most of the people who voted were from the Plebeians, and yet any magistrate elected by a joint assembly had jurisdiction over both of them.For the first time, the Plebeians seemed to have authority over thePatricians.The Plebeian Council is referred to in most contemporary accounts of an assembly of the Tribes.
The existence of a joint Tribal Assembly is not well defined in contemporary accounts, and because of this, it can only be assumed.In the 5th century BC, a series of reforms were passed, which required that any law passed by the council have the full force of the law.The Tribunes, who presided over the council, were a positive character for the first time.Before these laws were passed, the sacrosanct of the person could only be interfered with.The “Shortening Law” was the final law in the series and it was a modification to the Valerian law which allowed acts of the council to have the full force of law.
A series of laws were passed in the decades after the passage of the Licinio-Sextian law.The passage of the Hortensian law brought an end to thePatrician era.The Curule Aedileship was only open toPatricians.An unusual agreement was reached between the two groups.One year, the Curule Aedileship was to be open to everyone, but the next year it was only for people from other countries.The agreement was abandoned and the Plebeians were admitted to the Curule Aedileship.The Roman Dictatorship and the Roman Censorship were held by the Plebeians since only former Consuls could hold either office.The election of at least one Plebeian Dictator for each five-year term was required in order for the passage of a law.The first Plebeian Praetor was elected in 337 BC.The senators and the Plebeian Tribunes grew close during these years.To win over the Tribunes, the senators gave them a lot of power, and they began to feel obligated to the senate.The senators were able to get the Tribunate for their own families as the Tribunes grew closer.The Tribunate became a stepping stone to higher office.
The Roman King appointed new senators through a process called lectio senatus, but after the overthrow of the kingdom, the Consuls gained this power.The power to appoint new senators was given to the Romans by the “Ovinian Plebiscite” in the middle of the 4th century BC.The practice of appointing newly elected magistrates to the senate was codified.The law was so strict that the censors rarely disobeyed it.It is not known when this law was passed, but it was probably passed between the opening of the Censorship to Plebeians and the first known lectio senatus.By this point, the number of magisterial offices for the Plebeians was already high.It was a foregone conclusion that the Plebeians would come to dominate the senate.