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Improvements 
under the Empire
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Once Augustus became emperor of Rome, and the republic became the empire, things changed.  

First, the Senate lost all power.  They still met and argued but they could no longer pass laws or collect taxes.  The Emperor had all the power.  

Second, the emperor established programs to help the poor, including public or free health programs and more free food for the poor.

Third, the empire reduced crime in Rome.  The emperor had Roman Legionnaires started to patrol Rome and acted as the police.  Criminals did not want to face a couple of legionnaires, with their swords and shields.  

Fourth, rights for women expanded.  It became legal for women to own property, inherit, and even get a paid job.  They were still not citizens, but they were certainly better off.

Fifth, free entertainment was expanded.  The empire built large theatres for free plays.  They built huge stadiums for sports contests,  gladiatorial contests and chariot racing.  

Some things stayed the same; those things that were part of Roman culture did not change.  The center of town was still the forum with its marketplace and temples.  Everyone worshipped the gods and honored old age.  Families still lived all in one house.  The rich stayed rich and the poor stayed poor.  

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Written by Mr. Donn
   Clip Art Credit: Phillip Martin
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