Outline Julius Caesar's Reforms

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Although between the period of 49-44BC Caesar spent little time in Rome, during his brief appearances he initiated a large number of legislative and administrative reforms. He pushed through a large number of senatorial decrees and laws dealing with such things as the reorganisation of the local government of Italian towns, the length of tenure of provincial governors, the reduction in the number of Romans receiving free grain, penalties for criminal offences, the ratio of free labourers to slaves on large estates, traffic congestion in the Forum, the composition of the law courts, reform of the calendar and even the restriction of luxury displayed by nobility. However, his most important initiative was the founding of colonies outside Italy and the extension of Roman citizenship to provincials.

In 49 Caesar granted franchise to the area of Transalpine Gaul. He enfranchised a Gallic legion en masse and granted full Roman citizenship to certain provincial towns. This provided Caesar with more support from people who he provided the vote too. Also, the granting of Roman citizenship to provincials allowed for a patron-client relationship to occur where people supported each other in exchange for protection etc.

Caesar also promoted overseas colonies not just for his veterans but also for the urban poor. These colonies were in places such as Carthage and Corinth that received a rebirth because of this. Through this Caesar had effectively introduced Romanisation of the empire. This reform is seen as Caesar’s most statesmen like act.

He also made reformed the financial ways of the empire. He replenished the treasury by penalties extracted from rebels. He even modified the taxation system to eliminate the need of selfish tax collectors. To represent the provinces he even took the unpopular measure of enrolling provincials from Gaul and Spain into the senate.

The senate was also increased to 900 men. The number of quaestors was increased from 20 to 40,...
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