2 The Gracchi, Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus, were Roman brothers who tried to reform Rome's social and political structure to help the lower classes, in the 2nd century B.C.
3 To Tiberius Gracchus, the biggest problem was that there were not enough small farmers. He wanted to give land to some of the many free, poor unemployed. These men would be happy to farm, but there wasn't enough land, so he proposed that the state should take over land held illegally by large landholders and distribute it to the poor. Unfortunately for the plan of Tiberius, the people illegally holding the land were the powerful nobles whose families had held the land for generations. They didn't want to give it up.
4 In 133 Tiberius Gracchus was killed during rioting In 133 Tiberius Gracchus was killed during rioting. Gaius Gracchus took up the reform issues of his brother when he became tribune in 123 B.C., 10-years after the death of brother Tiberius. He created a coalition of poor free men and equestrians who were willing to go along with his proposals. His political successes enraged the nobles. Gaius Gracchus lost control of his coalition and, faced with armed opposition, fell on a slave's sword.