How Roman rule expanded through the lands

Did you ever learn how the Romans were able to spread their empire so far and wide…and so quickly?  Yes, they had a strong army and were not afraid to use it but the army was there to back up their primary method of colonization.

Romans would send some citizens to live in far away cities to facilitate trade with Rome. Makes sense, right?

These citizens brought their families with them and would build their houses close to each other for mutual support and entertainment.  As the trade grew, so would these self-segregated Roman neighbourhoods.  Eventually, once these neighbourhoods got large enough, Rome would offer trade incentives to the rulers of the city to permit the Romans within their enclave to be ruled by Roman laws and be subject to Roman authority  directly.

It was that subtle ‘carrot and stick’ routine:  the carrot of reduced trade tariffs and the stick of the not-so-proverbial sabre-rattling of the Roman army.  Most city states thought that this was a beneficial arrangement and agreed.

After a while, the members of the Roman enclave would ask that the Roman law should apply not only within their little enclave but when they traded with the locals:  after all, Rome got rich from trading and they all wanted to benefit, no?

Slowly and in very small increments, the Roman enclave would grow – and the demand for more and more Roman laws and norms within the host city would keep pace with this growth.

No matter how hard the host city would try to appease their Roman enclave, they could never satisfy them fully and eventually, Rome would have to point out just how cities that don’t treat their Roman minorities nicely happen to be the next ones to be burned to the ground by Roman armies.

Thus, through self-seggregated and un-integrated immigration, economic pressure and threat of violence, Roman rule spread throughout the lands!

Oh boy, am I glad that we live in enlightened times, when we would never permit members of a supremacist culture to build multiple enclaves throughout our countries and then demand that more and more of our laws conform to theirs, or they will do violence to us!

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