Rome, in its earliest days, was governed by kings. However, Ancient Rome was to develop its own form of government that allowed the Romans to govern themselves. In one sense, for a society that used its feared army to conquer other nations and reduced people to slavery, Rome was remarkably democratic when its own people were concerned. Citizens of Rome would gather at an assembly to elect their own officials.The chief officials of Rome were called consuls and there were two of them. The consuls governed for a year. If they did not live up to expectations, they could be voted out of office at the next election. Therefore, competence was rewarded and incompetence punished. In addition to consuls, there were other elected officials – judges, magistrates and tax collectors being some of them. Ten “Tribunes of the People” were also elected to look after the poor of Rome. The consuls could not be expected to know everything. They were advised by a Senate. This was made up of leading citizens of Rome and when they met, the Senate would discuss issues such as proposed new laws, financial issues affecting Rome etc. There were about 600 men in the Senate. They were usually from rich noble families and what they thought went a long way to determining Roman law. Since the Ancient Romans did not want one man to make all of the laws, they decided to balance the power of the government between three branches, there was first the executive branch, then the legislative branch, and finally the judicial branch.
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