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The Roman Government

Roman Government Formed

The republican government in Rome was controlled by elite members of society known as patricians. These leaders could be elected to the Senate, which was made up of 300 elected leaders.


The Senate voted on laws and authorized war, building projects, taxes, and other matters of public policy.

In addition to the Senate, the Romans also elected two leaders to an office which they called consuls. These consuls, who served for a one year term, made up an executive branch of government. They had authority to oversee all government employees, tax collection, and to insure that laws were being enforced. These consuls had a great deal of power when they acted together. However, they could not do anything alone. Either consul had the authority to veto the decisions of the other, helping to keep the power of either in check.

Roman Government

During times of emergency, such as during a war, the Romans elected a dictator. This dictator had complete authority and his word was law. However, this dictator only served until the crisis was over, after which their power was returned to the Senate and to the elected consuls.

This form of republican government would survive for the next 500 years and would serve Rome well, bringing them greater freedoms and riches.