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Imperial Expansion and Consolidation of Ancient Rome 

Updated July 18, 2021
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Imperial Expansion and Consolidation of Ancient Rome  essay

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In the period circa 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E., Rome was in a period of imperial expansion and consolidation of Rome due to positively impacting geography, a dominant military, and economic prosperity. The Alps and Apennines played the most significant role in terms of geography by protecting Rome from invasions. During the Punic Wars, Rome gained territory and destroyed the enemy’s. Silver, gold, and slaves brought into Rome increased the economy and trade.

Geography caused Rome to reach a period of imperial expansion and consolidation due to protection from invasions, fertile land, being the center of trade, and having a diverse population. First, The Alps and the Apennines, two mountain ranges, protected Rome from invaders. The Apennines divided the Italian Peninsula in half, allowing the Romans to retaliate whenever they felt they were in danger. Those attempting to invade Rome would face the possibility of being attacked from the opposite side of the mountain.

The Alps blocked off the Italian Peninsula from the rest of Europe, which protected Rome from invasions by forcing the enemies to move slowly through slender gaps, giving Romans time to be prepared. Second, fertile land and volcanic ash made soil in Rome rich and the best land in Europe. Because of the fertility of the land, surpluses of grains, olives, and corn rapidly increased, causing the population to increase. Third, Rome was the center of trade and the center of the Mediterranean Sea. Rome was very close to Spain, Greece, the Italian Peninsula, and Sicily.

Since Rome was close to at least four different civilizations, it made it a beneficial trading post. This expanded Rome’s relations with other nations. Finally, Rome had a diverse population. Because of this, Rome was adaptable, open minded, and willing to change their ways of life, which enabled them to conquer problems in the future and made them a more united nation.

Romans were more accepting of outcasts, which expanded their relationships with others, making them a more likable force to work with. A dominant military also produced a period of expansion and consolidation by dominantly winning the Punic Wars. During the First Punic War, Rome’s goal was to stop Carthage’s expansion to Sicily. A war sparked, and Rome defeated Carthage. Rome expanded their empire by forcing Carthage to surrender Sicily. They also forced Carthage to pay an indemnity.

During the Second Punic War, Rome ordered for the control of Spain from General Hannibal, gaining another piece of land. During the Third Punic War, Rome burned Carthage to the ground and sold its population into slavery. They also spread salt over their land, so that crops could not be grown and the soil would be destroyed. At the end of the Punic Wars, Rome expanded their land by gaining control over the entire Mediterranean. This allowed Rome to increase its population and become a major trading post. Not only did Rome gain land, but they destroyed Carthage, making Carthage one less enemy they needed to worry about invading and destroying Rome.

Finally, economic prosperity built Rome into a time of expansion and consolidation. First, there was a large amount of silver and gold brought in from territories, such as Spain, which was given as taxes paid. The silver and gold turned Rome into a profitable city, which other civilizations looked to for trade. Second, there was an increase in the amount of slaves. Slaves worked on technical skills.

With an increased number of slaves, the manufacturing of products increased, which kept the trade schedule regular. During the period circa 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E, geography, a strong military, and economic prosperity led to imperial expansion and consolidation of Rome. Geography protected Rome from invaders, had fertile land, was a center of trade, and had a diverse population. The Punic Wars gained Rome control of the entire Mediterranean. Silver, gold, and slaves increased trade and products increased.

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