The main reason for the fall of the Roman Republic, as I see it, was the loss of land by veterans, who were trained in violence and confrontation. This alongside the Roman history of violence, starting with the story of Romulus and Remus, and the unrestrained and unmanageable rate of growth in power, population, land area and wealth, led to a situation where life in the Republic was ingrained with anger, fear instilled by those in authority, and a general sense of chaos.
Land to the Romans was the source of not only life but also pride and happiness. The ideal citizen, at the time, was represented in Cincinatus, who worked the land, gave limited service to the government and returned to the land. This concept is most obviously evidenced by Cato the elder, who wrote "It is from the tillers of the soil that spring the best citizens."(Atchity
p.20) At that time, due to wars being fought abroad, many landowners lost their land, or were unable to keep it in a working state. Sallust describes this as "the common people permanently driven from their lands, the citizens cruelly plundered."( Atchity p. 96) This situation created a sense of loss and an environment of great anger, which eventually led to violence by soldiers and veterans whose experience, was already that of war and violence.
The frame of mind of the populous was evident in the story of the Gaius brothers, land reform advocates who were very popular among the working class, and incited ideas of change in government policy. Their story was the first real story of violence within the republic. This violence was the root of fear, that was preyed upon by those in authority. In his writings Sallust refers to fear at this time at least...