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Posted on September 20th, 2012, by

The Roman Empire produced a significant impact on the development of the western civilization. This impact can be traced in different fields: politics, legislation, culture, etc. At the same time, such an impact of Rome was a result of the high level of the development of the ancient Roman civilization. Nevertheless, in spite of huge progress, Rome could not develop its democratic traditions and the Republic gave in to the Empire. Remarkably, it is during the epoch of Empire, Rome had reached the highest level of its development. On the other hand, the  replacement of the Republic by the Empire was determined by objective factors, which the Empire more effective than the Republic.

In this respect, it is important to underline that the emergence of the Roman Empire is closely associated with the territorial expansion of Rome. Many specialists (Shotter, 1994) argue that it is due to the enormous expansion of the territory of Rome, the new state form was needed since the Republic was ineffective in the situation when it was necessary to rule the huge territory. In fact, legislation existing in Rome during the republican epoch implied that provinces were ruled and controlled by Romans appointed by the Senate and the rulers of provinces were regularly substituted. At the same time, often these rulers, known as procurators, often attempted to use their official position and their authority for their own benefits.

In such a situation, corruption progressed while Roman provinces could not be controlled and governed effectively. The instability in provinces undermined the stable position of the entire country. In such a context, the establishment of the royal power of the Roman Emperor was more effective than the Republic because the Emperor could appoint his representatives in different provinces and, as a supreme ruler of the country, he could punish those who attempted to plot against him or who could not govern the territories of the Roman Empire effectively.

In addition, it is necessary to take into consideration a significant role of slavery. Some specialists (Bradley, 1994) argue that slavery was an economic stimulus to the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. The Roman economy heavily relied on agriculture, which used the slave labor. At the same time, the invasions were the major source of slaves and, therefore, labor force. In such a situation, landowners and slaveholders were interested in the territorial expansion, which gradually led to the transformation of Rome into the Empire.

Finally, the role of Julius Caesar can hardly be underestimated. He managed to consolidate the power in his hands and establish the total control over the Roman legislative, executive and judicial power. He could even influence a religious life of Rome. Consequently, the consolidation of power in hands of one person naturally resulted in the transformation of the Republic into the Empire. In fact, Julius Caesar got an unparalleled power, which his followers attempted to gain and they succeeded in their efforts (Freeman, 2008). At this point, it should be said that Julius Caesar actually destroyed the Republic and established a new tradition, the Empire.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire occurred under the impact of objective factors, such as territorial expansion, ineffectiveness of the Republican governing, slavery and the role of Julius Caesar.

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