Essay on History of Roman Citizenship

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Citizenship is highly coveted in many nations, so coveted in fact that through only a few processes can one become a citizen for most nations, might that process be natural birth or naturalization. Citizenship and its privileges were also highly valued in Rome, except becoming a citizen was extremely difficult if not impossible. Roman citizenship also leads to assassinations and war within the Italian peninsula. There is a complex history to Roman citizenship. Roman citizenship dates back to the founding of Rome in 753 BC. In the beginning, citizenship was only granted to those living in Rome. Providences and territories were excluded. Citizenship was deemed to be highly valuable because with it came the right to vote. But as …show more content…

Subsequently, the Gracchi brothers were both assassinated for their attempts at reform. The provinces were growing more and more desperate and frustrated with the more time that passed. So in 91 BC another Roman politician made an attempt to reconcile with the provinces. Marcus Livius Drusus again tried to offer citizenship to the provinces. And again the Roman people were aghast at the outrageous attempt. Similarly he was assassinated, except now the provinces within the Italian peninsula had had enough. Consequently, the Social War erupted in 91 BC. There were two main tribes associated with the conflict, the Marsi and the Samnites. These two tribes, along with various others revolted against Rome in the hopes of obtaining citizenship, more specifically the right to vote. In the end of the war, Rome defeated and regained control of all of its land; however, the provinces did achieve their goal. In 90 BC Rome granted full citizenship to all the tribes who had not revolted and to those tribes that would return peacefully. Then in 89 BC another cession was made giving citizenship to all Italian that applied for it within sixty days. Roman citizenship now essentially covers the entire Italian peninsula. With the Social War new ways of becoming a citizen were also won. Before one of the only ways to become a citizen was to be a child of a legal marriage of a Roman

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