Political Violence in the Late Roman Republic



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The purpose of this project was to define political violence, explain how it was employed in the Late Roman Republic, and how this relates to the events of January 6th in America. Political violence is being described as when a group attempts to achieve a specific political goal via the employment of illegal uses of force. It does not always necessarily need to result in violence as, if it is clear that the participants are willing to resort to such violent means, it thus must be categorized as political violence. Rome employed violence via gangs, mobs and with armed military combatants and used it to gain more power in the political process. Studying this violence is critical to understanding just what position the American system is in with its political violence. In order to do research properly, the political violence surrounding the Gracchi, Saturninus, Clodius, and Sulla were analyzed and then compared to how the events of January 6th unfolded. Overall, America is seeing the rise of gang and mob violence; however, the danger the American Republic is in is significantly lessened because of the complete lack of military political violence. The example of Rome displays how political violence, once started, gradually becomes more and more normalized until it becomes a commonality. A key takeaway is how America is now heading down the path of normalizing political violence and its only hope lies in making political violence appear absolutely ineffective via rigid prosecution of all perpetrators of political violence.