In the II century. BC. the social life of Rome becomes more complicated. Long military campaigns, tearing the peasants away from their allotments for a long time, led to the ruin of small farms. In Rome and other cities of Italy there are many free citizens who have no means of subsistence and demand land allotments from their communities. Rome gradually begins to be drawn into a period of unrest. Having become a rich ruler of the world, he suddenly felt his weapons begin to weaken. With great difficulty, it was possible to defeat the weak Carthage, deprived of its former power, in the Third Punic War; in Spain, freedom-loving local tribes deal tangible blows to the Roman army. Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC, and then his brother,
Gaius Gracchus, in 122 BC with the help of reforms, they are trying to ease the tension in society and return Rome to its former military glory and power. But the ruling nobility does not want to give up anything even for the sake of national interests. Unable to defeat the brothers with the help of political measures, the nobility resorted to direct violence, inflicting a bloody massacre on the Gracchi and their supporters.
Difficulties arise in relations with the Italian allies. Taking an active part in the wars of conquest of Rome, they demand equal rights with Roman citizens. Only with the help of weapons in the 90s. 1st century BC. the allies were finally able to obtain the rights of Roman citizenship. Slave revolts, the largest of which was the revolt of Spartacus (73-71 BC), shake Italy.
The old, adapted to the needs of a small civilian community, the political system was not able to cope with the problems of governing a huge power. And a new force appears on the political scene of Rome - ambitious commanders and armies loyal to them, ready to follow their commander not only against the enemies of the Roman people, but also against Rome itself. After all, the army by this time had already lost the features of the people's militia. Military service becomes a profession, and the well-being of a warrior now depends on the talent and political authority of his commander. If the senate and the Roman people do not recognize this authority, the army is ready to obtain it for its general with the help of weapons.
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