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The Plebeian Revolt in Ancient Rome

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In the beginning of Rome, it was ruled by Tyrannical King which the people did not like. Both Patricians and Plebeians decided to put aside differences and revolt against those in power. When they succeeded, and they were then left to figure out who was to lead their newly freed people, and what laws to put in place to make sure they weren’t ruled in such a manner again. The only problem with being free with no just rulers already at hand, meant the citizens with the most in assets and dominance prior to their victory would come to claim rights to rule. It also meant the lower-class Plebeians who were forced to do most of the Physical revolting, would themselves be depleted and needing help.

The Problem: The patricians held all the rights and privileges of citizenship, rich aristocratic members of Roman society. They were the reapers of the benefits of winning their war, claimed all private and public land while the plebeians fought, putting them in a much poorer and disadvantaged position. They ran their new Rome with much consideration for the Plebeian class, however, to keep them indebted to them rather than to peacefully coexist. “The Plebeians were reduced to the condition of a debtor class” because they were forced to essentially borrow their own properties, as well as borrow money and other lands to provide for their families and to make a living. Some of the fruits of war like newly acquired land from won battles and overthrown areas should have been public and free to all to use. The patricians, however, took it for themselves and gave it to other wealthy people instead of the class of people who fought for them to have it.

The Revolt: The plebeian revolt should have been very expected as they had just fought for freedom from tyrannical and unjust king’s. And afterward they were put right back into the same position as they were before. They revolted by refusing to “do their duty” so to speak. They quit the army leaving the upper-class vulnerable and proposed to start their own city beyond Mons Saucer. This resulted in all their debts being canceled and their class being allowed to be a part of a government and officially being part of the society instead of slaves to the society. They were allotted tribunes to sit in as the voice of the Plebeians, so the Patricians could not make laws that were against them. They also formed an assembly which essentially let the people speak freely about their issues and where they wanted change, uninterrupted or dispersed by magistrates. Ultimately, even after being united to win freedom, the lording mindset and greed of the Patricians led to the slavery of their own people simply because they were poor. They believed they could keep them bound in slavery and dues, but ended up being the very thing they tied to escape. Fortunately, this led to more equality between 2 classes of people, and unity when they needed it most in the future.

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