30. Conflict of the Orders – Ancient Rome, 494 BCE
All roads lead to Rome – the melting pot of Western Civilization. Rome was the foundation of many things, from architectural influences to political establishments, which survive even in the modern day. Of course, one of the well-documented cases of protests also leads us to Rome.
Ever since the Roman Republic was found, the wealthy Patricians (aristocrats) manned the strings of the political machinery, leaving the Plebeians (commoners) open to abuse and forced slavery.
This changed in 494 BCE, when the plebs decided to form their own council, leading to a series of peaceful strikes, up until 287 BCE – when plebs were deemed politically equal to Patricians. The echoes of this drama haunt modern-day commoners and aristocrats to this day.