With the expulsion of the last king of Rome, a new period in Roman history started, and a new form of government replaced the monarchy. This period, the Republic, a name given to the new state by the Romans. The king was replaced by two men consuls, who held all the executive power. They also commanded the army in times of war. The Senate controlled all matters of great importance, like decisions of war. Other important positions within the government were the judge of the city, and the financial officer. The office of public relations, which organized festivals and other events.
Internally, during the Early Republic phase (509–133 b.c.), discontentment occurred among the plebeians because they were not allowed to participate in the government. The little land they owned was slowly being taken by the patricians. This left the plebeians in a state of debt and servitude, which led to a social struggle between the two classes lasting over 200 years. It was a bloodless revolution. By means of strikes and refusing to perform their duties to the state, they sought social and political equality. Little by little the plebeians were given certain rights.Every year elections were held for two men, who would present the people in government affairs. The laws of Rome were published on twelve stone tablets and displayed in the Forum.
The Romans fought the neighboring mountain tribes known as the Volsci, the Aequi, and the Sabini. Rome drove off the Gauls who had invaded from the north across the Alps and had ravaged and burnt the city of Rome. Over the next century, the Etruscans of the north and the other Latin tribes of Latium were conquered. During the last thirty years of the fourth century, the Samnites were the enemy. The Samnites, who dominated Campania, were the toughest Italic tribe the Romans had to face, but in a series of three wars, the Samnites were finally defeated.
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