The First Seven: or How this Political Quagmire was Formed

Roman government began with a succession of seven kings, seven being the lucky number of the time. Romulus started this crew off by declaring himself king and then making up the rest as he went along, which probably explains more about government than it doesn’t.  However, these other guys just didn’t seem to get it. First they let themselves get voted into office, and then they just let other people vote on everything else anyway.  Everyone knew that no good could possibly come of this, and up sprung the Senate, so they were proven right. 

Only certain people could be Senators, because you don’t want just anybody running things, and they called these people Patricians.  The logic behind this was that the Patricians were the landholding folk, and if things stopped running smoothly it was very hard to run away when dragging an acre or two behind you.  The Plebeians were the lucky ones as they didn’t have to muck around with politics and were still one rung up the social ladder from the slaves.

Eventually all of this voting just went to the Patrician’s heads, and the last of the seven kings, Tarquinius Superbus, was chucked out on his tail. Apparently seven wasn’t his lucky number. Now the Patricians had created a republic and their first major change of policy went from having one absolute ruler to two.  They called these consuls rather than kings, and thought it was a rather smart solution too.  Of course the Plebeians knew what was what, and snickered up their coat-sleeves at the Patricians.  Pretty soon the Patricians got tired of all the laughter when they couldn’t see the joke; so reeling in their wounded dignity they made a council and gave it to the Plebeians in a vain effort to see what was so funny.  They never did figure it out.


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