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Why were the Punic Wars important for Rome?

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Rome's victories in the Punic Wars against Carthage were important for several reasons. A short list of the value of its successes are:
* Carthage was removed as any possible threat to the security of Rome. Carthage was literally destroyed;
* Spain and areas in North Africa were then "occupied" by Rome. Spain was rich in precesses
metals, iron ore and timber;
* Based on its conflict with Carthage, Rome's war fleet was a power to be reckoned with;
* Rome's capacity to rebound from terrible defeats at the hands of Hannibal were clearly enforced. This included the historical defeat of Rome at the Battle of Cannae;
* All of Rome's allies and satellite cities remained in Rome's sphere of influence; and
* Historians cite the demise of Carthage and the rise of the Roman Republic to empire status as the linchpin for further expansion. Rome now controlled the vast expanse of the western Mediterranean Sea.

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The Punic wars were important to Rome because by defeating Carthage, Rome became the dominant force in the western Mediterranean area.
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