“The good of the people is the highest law.” Marcus Tullius Cicero: on law and the good of the people. Cicero believed that responsibility to the Republic outweighed all other responsibilities including family, in his eyes, the republic was seen as the most important duty for any Roman citizen. Due to the pressure to devote yourself entirely to the Republic and the importance of doing so, when people began to lose interest in the welfare of society and stopped aiding the republic the system collapsed.
The Gracchi brothers were some of the few Roman citizens who attempted to ameliorate the problems of the Roman Republic and to preserve it as seen here through the law to take land from nobles and give it to homeless plebeians. “Is it not just that what belongs to the people should be shared by the people? Is a man with no capacity for fighting more useful to his country than a soldier? Is a citizen inferior to a slave? Is an alien, or one who owns some of his country’s soil, the best patriot? You have won by war most of your possessions, and hope to acquire the rest of the habitable globe. But now it is but a hazard whether you gain the rest by bravery or whether by your weakness and discords you are robbed of what you have by your foes. Wherefore, in prospect of such acquisitions, you should if need be spontaneously, and of your own free will, yield up these lands to those who will rear children for the service of the State. Do not sacrifice a great thing while striving for a small, especially as you are to receive no contemptible compensation for your expenditure on the land, in free ownership of five hundred jugera secure forever, and in case you have sons, of two hundred and fifty more for each of them.” Tiberius Gracchus: on the Plebeians.