The republican government in Rome was controlled by elite members of society known as patricians. These leaders could be elected to the Senate, which was made up of 300 elected leaders.
During times of emergency, such as during a war, the Romans elected a dictator. This dictator had complete authority, and his word was law. However, this dictator only served until the crisis was over, after which their power was returned to the senate and to the elected consuls.
This form of republican government would survive for the next 500 years, and would serve Rome well, bringing them greater freedoms, and riches.