In the magistracies the authority of the chiefs and indumas (headmen) is exercised under the control of resident magistrates.
Moreover, owing to difficulties of travel, the assembly and magistracies were practically monopolized by the rich, who shaped the federal policy in their own interest.
Admission to the higher magistracies carried with it admission to the senate, and by the close of the struggle (about 300 B.C.) the political privilege of the two orders was equalized, with the exception of certain disabilities which, originally devised to break the political monopoly of the order, continued to be attached to the patricians after the victory of the plebs.
Their citizens were called upon to pay the same dues and perform the same service in the legions as full Roman citizens, but were deprived of the chief privileges of citizenship, those of voting in the Comitia (jus suffragii), and of holding Roman magistracies (jus honorum).
Those who were thus excluded from the tribes and centuries had no vote, were incapable of filling Roman magistracies and could not serve in the army.
But this has often been the case with the high magistracies of commonwealths whose constitutions were purely democratic.
Its main function was that of passing the lex curiata which was necessary for the ratification both of the imperium of the higher magistracies of the people, and of the potestas of those of lower rank.
A similar treatment was meted out to the ancient magistracies of the republic; and thus began the process by which the emperors undermined the self-respect of their subjects and eventually came to rule over a nation of slaves.
Under the influence of Diodes the constitution became a still more confirmed democracy, some at least of the magistracies being filled by lot, as at Athens (Diod.
Continued agitation to this effect resulted in an agreement in 452 B.C. between patricians and plebeians that decemvirs should be appointed to draw up a code, that during their tenure of office all other magistracies should be in abeyance, that they should not be subject to appeal, but that they should be bound to maintain the laws which guaranteed by religious sanctions the rights of the plebs.