In 509 BC, When the Etruscan rule weakened, the Romans rebelled, driving the Etruscan kings out of Rome. Today, many people wonder about why the Romans performed this act, because the Etruscans gave the Romans many contributions to their lives. When the Romans succeeded, they no longer had the strongest position in Latium.
After the expulsion of the Etruscans, the monarchy became a republic. At first, the power was in the hands of the patricians, or upper class. "These patricians were normally of hereditary nobility. During this time, Rome began to conquer lands and expanded into the south of Etruria . However, there was conflict between the plebeians, or the lower class and the patricians."" (Starr).
From the earliest days of the Republic, Rome had been on friendly terms with Carthage, a city-state in northern Africa. Since Rome was largely agricultural, and interested mainly in Italy, it had no reason to bother with Carthage, which was largely a sea power. As late as 279 BC the two cities has signed a treaty against Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, whom posed a threat to both. However, Carthage occupied the Sicilian town of Massana in 264 BC, after the Mamertines, a group of mercenaries, appealed to Carthage for help against Hiero II, king of Syracuse (a Sicilian city-state). this bothered Rome, as it was in the northeast corner of Sicily, very near the Greek towns of Italy which fell under Roman protection. Once the problem with Heiro II was solved, the Mamertines appealed to Rome for aid in fighting off the Carthaginians. Although the Senate was reluctant to oppose Carthage, the people pressed for action. So, when Appease Clodus Codex crossed over into Sicily in 264, the First Punic War began. .
Both Rome and Carthage had a desire to hold Messana; for Carthage, it would be an ideal port in their continuing dominance of the Mediterranean. For Rome, it would be an outpost in a strengthening land defense policy.