Roman Government

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Although the form of government in the Roman Empire changed several times over its thousand year history, many parts remained the same and it has served as a model, inspiring the founding fathers as they created the governmental system of the United States of America almost 2,000 years later. Scattered around seven hills in the middle of the Italian peninsula, Rome began as a simple village of wooden huts. As it grew, it became governed by a monarchy, with a king having complete control. This lasted for over 200 years until the king was overthrown and a republic form of government was developed. Although controlled to a large extent by wealthy land owners and nobles, the general population was given an increasingly larger part in how the empire was run. This form of government worked well and the Roman Empire prospered. However, social unrest in the first century A.D., coupled with several military defeats, ended with Julius Caesar taking control and declaring himself dictator for life, ending the true republic form of government. Assassinated a month later, Rome then entered a period of rule by an emperor, which lasted until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. The Roman Empire lasted longer than any other government in the western world and it has provided the foundation upon which the government of the United States is based, along with providing valuable lessons for future generations.

According to legend, Rome was founded in 752 B.C. when Romulus ascended the throne as the first king. Unlike many monarchs, Roman kings could not pass down their crown to a relative. New kings were selected by the community leaders called patres and then had to be approved by the populous, the Roman soldiers who made up the Curiate Assembly. The patres also served as advisors to the king, helping him govern, and formed the group known as the Senate. The King had many duties, including commanding the army, handling foreign affairs, issuing laws, and serving...
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