Republicanism is an approach within political theory that seeks to secure the values of political liberty and non-domination. Yet, in historical practice, early modern republics developed empires and secured their liberty through policies that dominated others. This contradiction presents challenges for how neo-Roman theorists understand ideals of liberty and political freedom. This article argues that the historical practices of slavery and empire developed concurrently with the normative ideals of republican liberty. Republican liberty does not arise in the absence of power but is inherently connected to the exercise of power.