Changes Resulting from the Struggle of the Orders.

What specific changes occurred in Roman society as a result of the Struggle of the Orders?

The Struggle of the Orders was an event taking place from 494-287 B.C.. the Plebeians (commoners) and Patricians (aristocrats), were the two groups of people who constituted the Roman population. However, the Plebeians were very much taken advantage of by the Patricians, however this changed with the Struggle of the Orders.

Prior to the Struggle of the Orders, the Plebeians were liable to enslavement if they were unable to pay their debts, they were deprived of political rights, and they were just oppressed by the Patricians.  The Plebeians saw that they were taken advantage of, and since most of the city was Plebeian people, they decided they could secede from the city and gain concessions from the Patricians who would need them back.  By stepping away, the Patricians underwent problems caused by lack of men to perform common labor.  The Patricians had no choice but to submit to the requests of the Plebeians.

One of the first concessions was the twelve tables of Roman law, which put the law on stone in a place that citizens could access it (mid 5th century B.C.).  This would publicize the law and give the individual an opportunity to know and understand the judicial standards of their city.  Prior to this concession, the law was not known to the public and this gave the Patricians an opportunity to take advantage of the Plebeians.

They won the power to elect Tribunes, which were ancient Rome officials who would protect their interests.  By the end of the Struggle of the Orders, the Plebeians were allowed to participate in lawful affairs as much as the Patricians.  Intermarriage between the two parties was allowed, and the act of debt slavery was abolished altogether.  However, while this huge transformation occurred, aristocratic families still dominated Rome, and saw themselves as above the Plebeians, they did so into the 4th century A.D.

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