After the Romans overthrew their Etruscan conquerors in 509 B.C.E, the people needed a new form of government. That form of government was known as a republic, which means “public good.” In a republic, people elected representatives to make decisions for them. The ancient Roman republic had three branches of government. The legislative branch was the Senate, a group made up of 300 citizens from Rome’s patrician class, the oldest and wealthiest families of Rome. The Senate was the most powerful branch of the Roman republic, and senators held the position for life. The executive branch was made up of two consuls, elected yearly. These two consuls had almost kingly powers, and each could veto, or disapprove of the other’s decision. Praetors were part of the judicial branch, they were elected yearly by the people of Rome, and acted as judges.
The Government Structure of the Roman Republic:
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Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. A consul was the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, and the consulship was considered the highest level.
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A judicial officer who had broad authority in cases of equity, was responsible for the production of the public games, and, in the absence of consuls, exercised extensive authority in the government.
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