War of the allies (so-called bellum sociale) fought in 90-88 BCE was a conflict between the Roman Republic and its Italian allies (socii). For years, the policy of “divide and conquer” allowed to keep many cities and peoples of Italy under the rule. The controversial death of the people’s tribune, Marcus Livius Drusus, who pushed for, among other things, the granting of civil rights to all free inhabitants of Italy, as well as the division of all public lands, caused a violent outbreak of rebellious Italian tribes.
These were one of the bloodiest fights in the history of Rome, the defeat of which could mean the annihilation of Rome. The war would certainly have dragged on much longer and could have taken a much worse turn for the Romans had they not made concessions to their allies. Although the allies were defeated in war, they became equal to the Romans by citizenship. The ruling layer of Rome had to make a concession, seeing the determination of the discriminated Italian tribes. Lack of agreement could lead to the division of Italy and the disintegration of the Republic from within.