Rome?s location and victory in the Punic Wars helped it to become a powerful empire; the slavery in Rome both benefited and harmed it, and the corruption in their democracy led them to an end, while inspiring other nations as a model of a democratic power.The Geography of Rome enabled it to become a dominant city state through its natural borders and access to the trade and resources of the Mediterranean sea. The Italian peninsula is protected by the Alps and the Apennines mountain ranges. During winter, they seal off the peninsula from the rest of Europe. These mountains provide an advantage in fighting, giving the Romans time to respond to any attacks. Agriculturally, the Geography is well suited for the mass production of food. Rich volcanic soil in the Tiber and Po river valleys are ideal for agriculture.
The crops they farmed include: grains, olives, and grapes. Because of this, a food surplus was created enabling the Roman population to grow quickly. The extra population later helped Rome’s military expansion through the provision of a large supply of troops.
The surplus, as well as its central location, likewise helped the Romans to establish trade ties with other Mediterranean peoples. The location on the Mediterranean sea was desirable because of its proximity to many trading cities. The centrality helped the Romans create a fast system of transport through to Roman Roads. Roman ships could also easily sail to other lands surrounding Mediterranean.
This helped them in conquering new lands and expanding into an empire. Rome?s location on Italian Peninsula helped its development in numerous ways. The failure of the Roman Republic can be attributed to corruption. However this also made the Republic successful for a time because for short periods of time, the corrupt rulers maintained order. Before Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic was already beginning to fail when popular tribunes lead to corruption in the senate, and when Roman generals began to hire private armies that weren’t loyal to the state.
Then, The First Triumvirate was formed by Pompeius Magnus, Licinius Crassus, and Julius Caesar. They combined their influence to seize power in Rome. Intense rivalry existed between these three, and they broke up after Caesar won over Pompey. This win signified the beginning of Caesar’s dictatorship. He was murdered by a conspiracy of some 60 odd senators early in his rule. Beyond Cesar, many other officials were corrupt. Under Roman law you could pay someone to vote for you, so the rich could buy their way into the senate.
Once in the Senate, they were often bribed to get certain law, government projects, exc created. This occasionally worked in favor of The Republic such as in the case of invading land to gain wealth. The Roman Republic was filled with corruption.The Punic Wars were a significant turning point in the balance of world power and had Rome not won it can be assumed that Carthage would have grown in power and impacted the world in many ways. The Punic Wars occured when the Carthaginians and Romans were fighting for power in the Mediterranean Sea. There were 3 Punic Wars and the result of them was the decimation of Carthage and a huge shift of world power to Rome’s favor.
Another result was the enslavement of the surviving 50,000 citizens of Carthage. The Punic Wars were also important because the leaders of the Roman Empire encouraged the growth of arts and culture when they had full control over the Mediterranean. If Carthage had won this war, the world would be very different today. The Roman Empire as we know it could easily have never existed, as Carthage would have gained control over Europe and Asia Minor. Rome reigned supreme over an empire stretching from the Atlantic coast of Spain to the border between Greece and Asia Minor because of its victory over Carthage. Slavery both negatively and positively affected the Roman Republic in that slave labor both benefited the production of food and created widespread unemployment among free people. The government of the Roman Republic owned slaves and used them to build and maintain roads, bridges, aqueducts and bath houses.
Slaves also served in households, worked in agriculture, mines, the military, manufacturing workshops, construction and a wide range of services within the cities of the Roman Empire. As many as 1 in 3 people in Italy or 1 in 5 across the empire were slaves. It was upon this forced labour that the Roman state and society was built. However, slavery in the Roman Empire also brought the effect of unemployment, as less jobs were available for free people to work in. Additionally, slavery wasn’t always successful.
There were several slave revolts; the most famous one was led by Spartacus. His army of runaway slaves grew to 90,000 men and after defeating four Roman armies, controlled most of southern Italy. The Roman Empire still affects us today in our democracy modeled after theirs. The Roman Republic was a model the founding fathers looked to when developing our democratic constitution.
American success in global dominance is due to a stable democracy. However, it can be argued that both Rome and we don’t have strictly democratic societies. In Ancient Rome, the vast majority of the population had limited ability to exercise the powers afforded to them by the constitution. They had little influence on legislation and could only select leaders from a very small aristocratic caste.
Consequently, Rome’s democratic institutions can only be seen as fundamentally undemocratic if not solely aristocratic, somewhat like America today. With only rare exceptions, the people who are able to compete to serve in our nation’s legislature are those who are wealthy or are able to make successful financial appeals to the “Political One Percent of the One Percent.” Everyone else is excluded. Aristocracy comes closer to our society and the Romans, as a small, elite, privileged class rules the electoral systems.Overall, the Roman Republic failed as it was plagued by corruption and inequalities, however its geography, strong military and many victories and system of government much similar to ours made Rome the longest-lasting empire in history.