Julius Caesar Was Known as a Reformer: Argumentative Essay

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The Populares political fraction was based on the ideology that championed the needs of the plebian population, however, it is unknown whether it was to help the common people or to further their own political careers. The Populares political fraction is not a political party in the modern sense there was no formal membership and no set of policies or ideology that they would plan to implement there was more concern for an individual`s political power and advancement of their career rather than the collective unit of a Populares party. The Gracchi brothers were the first significant Populares individuals of the Roman Republic using their positions as Tribune to the Plebs to promote a more Populares agenda enacting land reforms, grain reforms, and military reforms in favor of the Plebs. Hence, setting precedence for subsequent politicians Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar to use Populare's policies to gain popularity and favor with the plebs.

Julius Caesar

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Sallust marks the decline of Rome as during the dictatorship of Sulla who changed the political landscape for the future generation, the senate had changed it was no longer the same as before Sulla. Once he had retired the membership of the senate had expanded with new blood entering the senate who may have different responses than the traditional aristocracy changing the attitude of the senate towards certain matters. Furthermore, the introduction of dictatorship through loyal armies gave ambitious individuals such as Julius Caesar a platform to take power. Caesar was the nephew of Marius who married his aunt Julia, his family ties may have influenced his ambitions as a Populares politician, Plutarch writes of Caesar as an Aedile restoring the statues and trophies of Marius reminding the people of Marius' military victories, popularity, and Caesar's familial connections. This perhaps represents the political climate was not so violent but more likely Caesar's faith in his own popularity with the people because of his connections, as Marius seemingly did not want to be connected to the Gracchi`s vetoing a grain bill similar to Gaius Gracchus. He further showed his commitment to radical Populares by marrying Cornelia the daughter of Cinna a supporter of Marius against Sulla. This shows the importance of marriage and familial ties in politics in order to show support for the political fraction.

Similarly, to Gaius Gracchus, Caesar introduced grain reforms after facing grain shortages in Rome, to fix this he arranged better supervision of the supplies coming into Rome and improved access to grain by building a new canal. Although Suetonius notes that he halved the number of people receiving government grain, changing Gaius Gracchus' original bill however his popularity with the plebs remained Suetonius mentions Caesar`s use of entertainment putting on games for the people to bolster his popularity. Ultimately, Caesar used non-traditional aggressive methods not used by the Gracchi`s or Marius as he marched on Rome with his army loyal to him, not the senate to become a dictator.

To conclude Populares politicians Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, Marius and Julius Caesar reacted to the social crisis in their time within the Roman Republic, they had different policies to adapt to the different situations. However, focused their reforms within the same areas of Roman society which were important to the people such as Grain, Military, and land reforms whilst focusing on distributing power from the senate to give the people more freedom with elector rights. This helped to secure their place of popularity with the plebians, leading Populares figures Tiberius, Marius, and Caesar also had great military careers helping their career in politics and gaining the respect of the plebians. Earlier figures Tiberius and Gaius struggled more than the subsequent ones getting their policies to be approved by the senate and aristocracy this may have changed due to the rise of ambitious individuals and attitudes in the senate with the military reforms of Marius giving individuals more power and the rise of Sulla, bringing in new blood to the senate causing it to move away from its traditions. Both Caesar and Marius broke senate traditions to push through their own agenda with Marius illegally granting citizenship to two groups of Italian allies. Caesar`s ambitions made him disobey the senate refusing to disband his army, showing the lack of control the senate eventually had overambitious Populares like Caesar. The Gracchi`s set the precedence by going against the senate and using the position of tribune as a position of political importance that can be used by ambitious men to gain popularity and power.

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Julius Caesar Was Known as a Reformer: Argumentative Essay. (2023, August 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/julius-caesar-was-known-as-a-reformer-argumentative-essay/
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