The Roman Republic's victory over Carthage in the Punic Wars established Rome as the dominant power in the Mediterranean. But not without cost. In order to defeat Carthage, Rome had to resort to it's own ancient version of total war, which would have insidious effects that would only manifest themselves in the years to come. Victory in the war also led to a fundamental change in the way the Roman economy worked over the years. This led to increased wealth inequality, political and economic corruption, population shifts, and questions over citizenship that would ultimately create friction in the Republic.
This is Part II in a series on the fall of the ancient Roman Republic. It gives an overview of the Punic Wars, and goes over how Rome's victory in these wars led to incredible shifts in Roman politics, economics, and moral norms that would ultimately create the conditions necessary for the Republic to fall.