- from Early Romans
Roman power and influence spread throughout the Mediterranean region, but the republic was becoming less stable.
Many enslaved people arrived in Rome from conquered lands. They caused problems for the economy. Roman workers couldn’t compete with the free labor of enslaved people. This was especially true for farmers. Many had to sell their land. Without work, many became beggars.
The rich and powerful didn’t care about the problems of the poor. Even the tribunes, who were supposed to speak for the plebeians, didn’t help. The Roman government was designed to divide power among its parts. But over the years, the Senate had gained power. Rich and powerful patricians controlled the government. The stage was set for conflict.