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Word Count: 516
Rome transformed from a city to one of the most powerful Empires of all time The Roman Republic had many troubles since the new constitution was not flawless and there remained powerful external enemies Internally one serious threat was the feuding of the leading families many of whom commanded the support of large numbers of clients and used them on occasion to subvert the power of the state Another was the struggle between the leading families as a whole and the rest of the population especially the underprivileged groups the plebeians After some years of conflict the plebeians forced the senate to pass a written series of laws the Twelve Tables which recognized certain rights and gave the plebeians their own representatives the tribunes It was only later in the 4th century that plebeians were given the right to stand for the consulship and other major offices of state By the 5th century BCE Rome was an important city but by no means of a major regional power The transition came about only through piecemeal expansion in a series of minor wars By the end of the 5th century these peoples had been defeated and the Romans pushed forward their own frontiers establishing colonies in strategic places The first resounding Roman military success was to the north of the city where in 396 BCE after a ten-year siege they captured Veii Six years later a new and more distant enemy the Celts sacked Rome itself In 343 BCE the Romans came into conflict with the Samnites a powerful tribal confederation who controlled the central backbone of southern Italy This First Samnite War was brief and inconclusive but was followed by more significant Roman gains in the Second and Third Wars Victory in the Third Samnite War extended Roman territory across the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea Rome now controlled the whole of the Italian peninsula either through alliance or direct conquest Marcus Licinius Julius Caesar
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