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Slavery in Rome.

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Introduction

Megan Cleary November 22, 2002 Mr. Gillis World History-5th Period Slavery in Rome Rome was known as one of the greatest empires, if not the greatest, in the world for almost 1,000 years. The people of Rome were happy and prospering. They went through two hundred years of what is now called Pax Romana, or Peace of Rome. The citizens were as united as ever. Everywhere you would hear Civis Romanus Sun, I am a Roman Citizen. The Romans were proud to be Romans. To say you were Roman meant that you were the best of the best, the Cr�me de la Cr�me. But then, slowly but surely, Rome began to decline. The government became more corrupt, the people less united. People would no longer consider themselves Romans, because to say you were Roman meant that you were corrupt, untrustworthy pond scum. What caused this terrible fate? There are many different theories from many different people, but one thing is certain; whether directly or not, slavery played a major role in the fall of the Republic of Rome. It caused massive unemployment, weakened the government, and created many riots. These riots cost the government money and a loss of lives for both sides of the argument. Rome is located in modern-day Italy. Rome lies on both sides of the Tiber River, about 17miles from its mouth in the Tyrrhenian Sea. ...read more.

Middle

This was easier and much more affordable than hiring free men. The free men would expect monthly wages, vacation, and pay raises. The free men could quit whenever they felt like it. Slaves required no vacation, no wages, and couldn't quit. Latifundas are huge plantation-like farming estates in Ancient Rome that were worked on by slaves ("Latifunda"). The wealthy patricians who owned these estates grew a variety of crops on the rich land (Halsall). Their source of labor was of course, slaves. They could work them as long as they needed for practically nothing at all. Because the latifunda owners could get much work done for almost nothing, they were able to sell their crops for a cheaper price than the private farmers. Private farmers were people who had little land compared to the latifunda owners and had no slaves. They had to either work on the land their selves or hire free men to do the job. Therefore, in order to make a profit, they would have to sell their crops for a little more. In this way, the latifunda owners caused the private farmers, who were numerous, to 'sell out' (Madden). The farmers then had to sell their land to a wealthy landholder or go bankrupt trying to pay taxes (Madden). Most of them decided to sell their land and go to the city in search of work. ...read more.

Conclusion

It started to get to the point where the government could take it no more. They could not afford to pay for the armies required to keep the riots down. This resulted in an even weaker government. In conclusion, slavery played a vital role in the demise of what was known as one of the greatest empires of all times. Slavery brought the Roman empire crashing down like a plane on its last voyage. Slavery caused massive unemployment for both farmers and city workers. They were forced to live of the government's 'welfare program.' This weakened the government. The massive unemployment also caused the unemployed to 'lash out' on the government by starting numerous riots. The slaves did the same as well. They wanted to be free and treated like individuals. People soon grew weary of the city that they knew and loved. They were no longer happy and prospering. They were no longer proud to call them selves Romans. They were spiraling into a slow decline. The Pax Romana was over. People fear that is what our society is slowly leading towards. We were prospering and happy and proud to be Americans. Now, although we are still proud to be Americans, were are weary. The economy is going a slow decline, and the government is becoming more corrupt than ever before. And what can we do? All we can do is sit and wait and hope that history does not repeat itself once again. Cleary 1 ...read more.

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