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Roman Republican Form of Government

In 509 B.C., the Romans expelled the Etruscans and established the Republic. Having witnessed the problems of monarchy on their own land, and aristocracy and democracy among the Greeks, they opted for a mixed form of government, with three branches.
  1. Monarchical Branch

    Two magistrates or consuls with supreme civil and military authority. They held office for one year, then became senators for life. Each consul could veto the other, they led the army, served as judges, and had religious duties.

  2. Aristocratic Branch

    Senate (senatus = council of elders) was an advisory branch, initially composed of about 300 citizens who served for life. The ranks of the Senate were drawn from ex-consuls and other officers who served for life.

  3. Democratic Branch

    The Assembly of Centuries (comitia centuriata), which was composed of all members of the army, elected consuls annually. The Assembly of Tribes (comitia tributa), which contained all citizens, approved or rejected laws and decided issues of war and peace.


Roman Law
Roman government and law.

The evolution of the Republican form of mixed government in Rome, from one where the aristocrats had the controlling influence, to one where the plebians could have enforced democratic policies were it not for landlessness and urban poverty.

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