Rome Becomes an Empire
Government was very different during the Empire than
it was under the Republic. People still elected Senators. But Senators had no
power. The current emperor could take away power from the Senate or give power
to the Senate. Senators could mostly only advise. The Assembly was gone. It was
never a building. The Assembly was the right of the common man to assembly in
the forum and vote. Vote for what? The Assembly did
not pick the emperor, and the emperor was all-powerful.
During the 500 years that Rome was an Empire, there were lots of emperors. Augustus was the first emperor. There would be 140 more, some good, and some bad. Some took power by force. Some inherited the job from their fathers. Some emperors died by natural causes. Some were killed in wars. Some were murdered.
There were some improvements. Under the Empire, women received more rights. Massive public service programs were created to help the poor. There were many festival paid for by the rich. Huge entertainment centers were built that offered free admission to events.
Some things stayed the same. Families stayed together in the same home. Romans honored the elderly, The rich remained rich and the poor remained poor.
Somehow, in spite of its many ups and downs, the Roman Empire survived for nearly 500 years.