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Ancient History Sourcebook:
The Roman Republic: Checks and Balances


American System -- based on balance of powers/functions

Executive

Legislative

Judicial

President

Congress

Supreme Court

Note: The only legitimate interest is that of the people

Roman System -- based on balance of interests

Monarchical

Aristocratic

Democratic

2 Consuls
+ other magistrates

Senate

Assembly of Tribes

Tribune

Directed government and army

Acted as judges

Could issue edicts

Acted as chief priest

Controlled state budget

Could pass laws

Approved/rejected laws

Decided on War

Tribune could veto actions of magistrate

Acted as final court

Basis of power:

possess imperium, the right to rule

need for leadership

Basis of power:

members were richest men in Rome.

Basis of power:

provided most of the soldiers

Limits on power:

one year term

each could veto

Limits on power:

could not control army

needed majority as soldiers.

Limits on power:

Could not suggest laws

often paid as clients by the elite


Source:

Chart by Paul Halsall


This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, August 2000



The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 21 January 2020 [Curriculum vitae]