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Transcript of Roman Government
What is a Republic?
THE ROMAN WORLD
Terms and Names
Checks and Balances
A republic is a form of government in which voters elect officials to run the state.
In the Roman Republic, only adult male citizens were allowed to vote and participate in the government
Three groups of citizens helped govern Rome: The Senate, various popular assemblies, and the officials themselves, called magistrates.
The most important and powerful of the three governing bodies was the 300-member senate. The senate controlled public funds ($$$$), determined foreign policies, and sometimes acted as a court.
In times of emergency, the Senate could purpose that a citizen be named dictator. A dictator could rule for a maximum of six months and for that time had both military and judicial authority.
Several assemblies existed in the republic in the republic. Citizens in these assemblies voted on laws and elected officials. Some assemblies voted to make war or peace, and some had a judicial role.
Assemblies elected 10 officials and called
The 10 tribunes could refuse to approve Senate bills and the actions of public officials if they believed that the acts were contrary to the public interest
The various types of magistrates were public officials
who governed in the name of Rome. After monarchy ended in 509 B.C., two
were elected for one-year terms. They served as the chief executives who ran the government and acted as military commanders.
They also appointed dictators. Each consul could
or refuse to approve, acts of the other. (The latin word veto means "I forbid"). Although powerful, the consuls governed with the advice of the Senate.
This division of power was an example of the principle of
checks and balances
that prevented any one part of government from becoming too powerful. Many nations of the modern world, including the USA, later adopted the principle of checks and balances as well as the veto.
To help the consuls, the Romans elected officials called praetors (PREE-tuhrz). In times of war, paetors commanded armies, and in times of peace, they oversaw the legal system. In addition to drawing up lists of potential jurors and judges, the praetor's interpretation of of legal questions created much of the civil laws in Rome.
They were officials elected every 5 years for terms of 18 months. They registered citizens according to their wealth, could appoint candidates to the Senate, and oversaw the moral conduct of all citizens. Censors became very powerful magistrates in the Roman Republic.
The composition of the assemblies and elected officials changed throughout the life of the republic.
The changes stemmed from the common people's attempt to win more rights. These struggles became known as the
Conflict of Orders.