the Roman Republic played well. Why did it later become an autocratic monarchy?

don’t quite agree with you. First of all, the reform of Mallory is not an inducement, but a necessary step in the transformation from Republic to head of state. Second, strong leadership is the result, not the cause at all.

let’s start with a simple conclusion: the republic system is applicable to the city-state system, while the head of state system (note that it is not an autocratic “monarchy”, see below) is applicable to the system governing the vast land. Due to the changes of Roman society, the change from Republic to head of state is the inevitable result of Roman expansion.

the apparent reason why Rome changed from a republic to a head of state system is that there are a group of populist politicians (such as the gragu brothers, Mario, cartilin, Caesar and Augustus) who, in order to grab their own interests, use the political rules of Rome to constantly attract civilians to fight against the aristocratic Republic. The method of

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to win over is to give some small favors to civilians, such as bread, booty, heritage and equal share of the whole city (how much can a family get?), Gladiator performances are held every three or five times, and the whole triumphal style is held from time to time. Therefore, the satisfied bottom people often feel grateful to these populist politicians.

then the populist politicians organized thugs from the bottom civilians to incite public opinion, went to the streets to riot and control the election, so the interests of the aristocratic Republicans and the knight class (such as the upstart represented by Cicero) were suppressed.

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are always suppressed. Of course, they can’t stand it. If they can’t, they have to turn around and fight the civil war. It’s a pity that the aristocratic Republicans are always defeated. For example, Mario invaded Rome and announced the public enemy. At least he died early, and then he was pulled back to the city by Sula. It goes without saying that Pompeii abandoned the city and fled, lost the battle, fled and died. Gatu’s Gang also lost, lost and died. Later Octavian and Antony joined hands to destroy Brutus and Cassius. After that, the Republicans completely lost their power, and the political struggle in Rome was carried out entirely within the former Caesars.

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all the noble Republicans with ideals and integrity died, and the rest were obedient at first sight. Therefore, the powerful populist politicians further controlled the Senate, placed their own people, manipulated the election at will, and ruled as they wanted to be dictatorial. No one could control it, so that they suddenly stopped dictatorial one day and returned to the people by making a show, Everyone said with gratitude that you’d better continue to preside over the work. What? Are you determined to return to politics? Oh, what’s the matter? If you don’t want to be a dictator, let’s just call you Augustus…

note that the so-called Roman Empire, on the surface, the mechanism of political operation is exactly the same as that of the Republic, there are still civic assemblies, tribal assemblies and Senate voting bills, There are still campaign advertisements in the election – the only difference is that the head of state (commonly known as the “emperor” of the Roman Empire) has great influence, so that the election results can be determined internally, and the head of state itself is a lifelong position, and the consuls report to the head of state. This is a different concept from “monarch”. Therefore, from Augustus to Constantine, Rome is the “system of heads of state”. After the joint rule of the four emperors of Diocletian, Rome is the real “monarchy”.

the above is the general process of changing from Republic to head of state, so why did such a change happen?

we have seen that during the hundred years of the quiet changes in Roman society, populist politicians often took advantage of the loopholes in the Roman political system, engaged in bribery, spent a lot of money to buy the hearts of the people, and even incited mobs to hijack elections on a large scale. The reason why they succeeded was largely due to the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Roman society.

on the one hand, the social wealth is concentrated in the hands of the big chaebols, so that politicians either have enough financial resources to cultivate their power (for example, klassus thinks it is not rich if they can’t afford a private army), or they can borrow money to carry out political activities (for example, Caesar borrowed money from klassus to run for consul) to expand their influence. Just imagine, if wealth is not highly concentrated, I’m afraid politicians will be unable to bear huge political and even war funds even if they move around.

on the other hand, the civilians at the bottom of Rome are suffering from poverty. Many people lose their land and industries and can only be professional soldiers. For these people, small favors are enough to buy their loyalty. In short, they will vote for whoever gives money, and they will be willing to fight for them and fight for them, so that they can share their own land when they come back. As for the Senate and the Republic… These are too far away from living.

the reason why the gap between the rich and the poor is so wide is due to the expansion of Rome. With the power of a city-state, Rome has fought against the outside world for hundreds of years and swept the Mediterranean. Politicians who lead troops to fight and defeat the enemy and obtain booty are bound to obtain huge wealth. Rome implemented the tax payer system in the conquered areas and contracted the regional tax to individuals, so these tax payers must seize the tax by coincidence and do their best to extract wealth. These wealth were transported to Rome and became the plutocrats of Rome.

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the Roman city-state had a limited population, and at the beginning, those who were qualified to join the army must be citizens with considerable property. These rich and middle peasants fought for years under the leadership of the generals. In ancient times, when citizens joined the army and fought, the enemy was not far away. When they gathered, they fought out of the city and returned to their hometown to look after their industries. With the expansion of Rome, there are more and more wars and the front is farther and farther away. Citizens may not be home for several years. Finally, when they go home, the industry has also been defeated or even merged.

so the civilian class declined on a large scale and became poorer and poorer. Later, the reform of Mallory changed from allowing only wealthy citizens to join the army and provide self-sufficiency in equipment to allowing everyone to join the army and providing equipment by generals. It must be emphasized that it was not the reform of Mario that destroyed the social structure of Rome and resulted in republicanismThe demise of; However, due to the drastic expansion of Rome, the original citizens have been poor. It is difficult to find people who meet the standards of ancient soldiers to form an army. Therefore, we can only change the previous standards and recruit the urban poor to form a professional army. To exaggerate, the reform of Mallory marked the disintegration of the Roman civilian class and the birth of the mob class.

to sum up, the Republic was a system suitable for the city-state under the conditions at that time. The rapid expansion of Rome made it unable to continue to operate in the form and system of city-state. It must maintain the conquered areas around the Mediterranean with a new look. At the same time, due to the decline of the civilian class that constitutes the foundation of the Republic and the elimination of the noble class representing the spirit of the Republic by the degenerated civilians, the soil and nutrients for the existence of the Republic no longer exist. Therefore, the transformation of Rome from Republic to head of state is an inevitable trend and the inevitable result of its rapid expansion.

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carry a little smuggled goods… It is said that the past serves the present. Today’s situations do not have to be the same as those in ancient times, but some similarities are noteworthy. For example, some civilian aristocratic politicians win over civilians through some small favors, or let everyone sing to recall the “beautiful” era in the past, or make civilians feel happy by beating corrupt officials and reducing civil servants’ welfare (they just feel happy if they can’t eat or spend). If this trend continues for a long time, we should be vigilant.

Romans, the Republic is in danger!