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Rome’s conquests brought agricultural change: 1. Most Romans had been farmers w/small farms that grew wheat. Farms were now being replaced by large estates, called latifundias, that grew other crops. Therefore, Romans had to import wheat. neosmart.net/gallery/d/7423-2/Wheat+Fields.jpg
2. Main reason for the change: Hannibal and his army! Not only did they destroy the farmland, but farmers destroyed it so that Hannibal and his men could not eat their crops.
2. (continued) When the Second Punic War was over, farmers did not have $ to restore their land. Patricians bought the farms and turned them into latifundias.
3. Slaves worked on the latifundias.
Farmers had no choice but to work the land with slaves or move to Rome. 1. In Rome, farmers crowded into apartment buildings where conditions were terrible (no sewers, unsafe buildings, fires, and diseases).
2. Most farmers could not find a job; Rome had almost no industry. Most businesses used slaves. 3. Farmers could only get money if they sold their votes to politicians.
1. Romans began demanding taxes and slaves from the people they conquered.
2. Tax contracts were sold to people called publicans. They paid Rome ahead of time for the contracts, then they collected taxes from the conquered people. They were supposed to receive no more than 10 percent above the price they paid for the contract, however, most of them made extra $$$.
3. By 135 B.C., Rome was having major economic problems. Farmers had no money, merchants & artisans became poor b/c rich Romans bought luxury items elsewhere. thing?.out=jpg&size=s&tid=
4. Government officials were too busy getting rich to care about the Republic’s problems. 5. The gap between rich and poor grew greater; they hated each other. Rome was no longer politically stable. kle0510.jpg