Roman Gracchi Brothers
During the Gracchi’s lives, Rome was facing a number of social, political. and economic problems. The Gracchi brothers were significant In Roman history for the short and long term consequences that resulted trom their actions, acting as a perspective, idealistic men who were concerned with the greater good of Rome when it was atypical to do so. The brothers, both, were frustrated with the conservatism and selfishness of the oligarchy and so adopted methods, which threatened the balance between the senate, the magistrates and the people. The Gracchi was all for the Roman people and would do anything to serve them for the better.
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In 133 3C Tiberius Gracchus attempted to solves Rome’s problems, specifically the land crisis. (pg. 77) Tiberius proposed the Idea to give away land to the poor, Although It looked Ilke he was Just glvlng land from rich to poor, there was more meaning to this. His reasoning was to try to make everyone happy which was his Joff He wanted to give the poor land so that then in turn they would have to fight in his army. By doing this it would have been a win win for everyone, the poor would have more land and Rome as a whole would be safer and better due to its growing army.
Even though he was trying to do well, it didnt end well for him. These reforms threatened the holdings of rich landowners In Italy. He was murdered, along with many of his supporters. by members of the Roman Senate and supporters of the conservative opumate faction, All Tiberius was trying to do was help Rome and do what was right for his people, although this dldnt end well, he did lay down a good foundation tor his brothers later success. Personally believe that the reform that Tiberius proposed was completely necessary. The man took an oath to do what was right for the Roman people, and hat he was trying to do was right for them.
His idea was brilliant, everyone would have gained from this, and the poor would have land, and the rich and all of Rome more protection. Rome could have been d totally dfferent place I feel if this reform went through. Just because the rich and most politicians also being of wealthy status didn’t agree because they didn’t want to give up a fraction of land, Tiberius was brutally murdered and Rome was not beneflted_ Gaius Gracchus became tribune in 123 BC_ Gaius, younger brother of Tiberius, took over Tiberius’s overall plan. Gaius learned from his brother’s mistakes.
The only way he would be able to overcome the senates opposition, he’d have to gain more support of all the classes. It was easy to get support from the poor because, well they were gaining the most, but if he in fact could get the wealthiests love as well he would be set. He, Gaius, was a great speaker. Plutarch states in another book. “He roused the peoples emotions with sentiments and he possessed d powerful voice and spoke with overwhelming conviction”. This type of skill. really helped Caius’s Idea to win over all the classes.
Galus Introduced the equestrian class as a third olitical force. Which would turther balance the government and weaken the senate Gaius also dealt with the increasingly content of Italian allies. By offering them would affect their control of the assemblies. This was unsuccessful short term but successful long term. Long term affects of this resulted in the allies becoming more aware of rights, which led to war. Italians received roman citizenship. All these things Gaius was doing stirred the pot a lot, he created a lot of enemies from his actions.
Due to the stirring and trying to do what was right, in 121 Gaius was urdered at the instigation of the senate and by the end of the year most of his laws had been repealed. .(Pgs. 91-101) I think that Gaius Gracchi was a hero and great tribune. The man went out of his way to serve the people, but due to the dissatisfaction of his fellow senate members he was killed for doing the right thing. Gaius was trying to do what was necessary in Rome at the time they needed help. His reforms and ideas were important and should have been passed and utilized, but a lot of the senators opposed these reforms.
Gaius was Just trying to make a change but Rome wasn’t ready for change. The new forces of urban factions, rural voters and others engaging in continued conflict with each other for their own interests, mean that the problem of effective governance awaited resolution. The populist government of the Gracchi had come to an end by violence; this provided a brutal precedent that would be followed by many other rulers of Rome. The Gracchi’s were trying to make a change in Rome, they were trying to help Rome as a whole and do what was right for each citizen.
The Gracchi were to advanced for there time. They knew what was right for their people but the people s a whole couldn’t conform. I had picked up a connected from the Gracchi brothers to the Conflict of Orders event. I compare the too because both were trying to make a change in a time where change was drastically frowned upon. The conflict of orders was a conflict between the plebians and patricians. Plebians sought out political equality with the patricians. Conflict began while Rome was at war with two neighboring tribes.
Stop here, the only reason the Gracchi change and the conflict of orders got so far was because, at the times of their change Rome was not at there strongest, allowing a bit f change. What happened was, when plebians didn’t get what they asked for they got up at moved outside of the walls. This action gave the plebians their first acquisition of power, because patricians had to ask them back, and the only way to get them to come back was to give them what they wanted. At first only patricians were allowed to stand up for election to political office.
But overtime plebians got votes. Roman senate was all patrician but now since the plebians took a stand they both were in the senate. The plebian council acquired more power for Plebiscites, hich applied to plebians, although after 339 BC with the help of dictator Q. Publius Philo these acts began to apply to both plebians and patricians. Although successful at first, when Caesar took over and began the Empire, the plebians did make a change in Rome, the Gracchi brothers and the plebians of the time taught Romans to stand up and speak their mind, and change was possible in Rome.
One more connection I would like to draw to the Gracchi brothers is, Pompey. Although the Gracchi’s tried making their changes for the greater good of the Roman citizens; Pompey made his change to help himself but overall helped the Roman ore votes, but in turn he also helped the people by giving them something to do and letting them have a good time. Both helped the, or tired to help the Roman people and this is why I compare the two. The Gracchi brothers come from a somewhat powerful family.
Tiberius and Gaius were both very smart and both strong minded. Gaius was a much better speaker and very personable. The mother of Tiberius and Gaius was Cornelia(190-100BC), who was held upon as paragon of roman womanly virtue. Their father Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus had held consul twice and also served as the censor in 169 BC. From studying this group extensively, nowhere does it say exactly where they were influenced by. But I believe it had to be from their father, for at least Tiberius because he also held office.
But for Gaius I feel he was more influenced by his big brother Tiberius, whom was a lot older then him and could have been more of a fatherly figure than that of a brother. I believe that the Gracchi brothers are truly heroes. They new the consequences or potentially consequences of bringing about change in Rome; they new they may be killed, but death wouldn’t have been worse than not trying to make Rome a better lace. They are heroes because they tried the impossible, no one made change back then, and you got killed if you did.