The Fall of the Roman Empire


THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
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The Fall of the Roman Empire

At the beginning of the fourth century A.D., the Roman Empire had been one of the most powerful empires to contend with in the entire world. They were enabled to wield so much power because they brought structure, cohesion, and good fortune to the people living in the West. The capital of the Roman Empire was in Rome and there were many roads that led to the outer reaches of the Empire with the capital. These roads were mainly for use by the military but they were also used for trade and for use by other Romans. There were Roman armies placed strategically along the border of the Empire to provide security for the Empire and those within it. This was a time when the Empire was enjoying a feeling of influence and good wealth. But all good things must come to an end and this was also true in the case of the Roman Empire.

There are many reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. Many books have been written and movies have been made. Most of these focus on one main reason for the decline of the powerful Empire but there are actually many reasons for the fall. This only makes sense as the Empire really was too big and powerful to be taken down by any one factor. The main reasons were that new leadership came into rule that was not as strong as the leadership that had been in place, overspending on the part of the military, the introduction of Christianity, and the dishonesty of political leaders.

In the late third century, there was much political disarray until 284 A.D. when Diocletian became the Emperor of Rome. Looking at the Empire and deciding that it was far too large for him to rule alone, he divided the Roman Empire into two halves, each to be ruled by a separate Emperor. He would be the Emperor of the eastern half and he appointed his associate, Maximian to control the western half. He also appointed different Caesars, who would help to look after their share of the Empire usually in an administrative capacity. These Caesars would also take over control should one of the Emperors die. Although Diocletian and Maximian did not pass away, Diocletian did retire in 305 and therefore, Maximian was required to retire as well. The leadership was then given to the two Caesars and that leadership passed to only one Caesar, Constantine in 324.

Constantine became the first Christian leader of the Roman Empire. In 325, he placed his beliefs onto the Romans by instating the Orthodox Christianity, otherwise known as the Nicene Creed. Christianity was developed even further in 379 when Theodosius made Christianity the primary religion of Rome and declared that any Pagan religions were now illegal. This contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire due to the fact that this made many Romans far too passive, and they were no longer motivated to defend the borders of the Empire. This new religion of Christianity also cost money as funds were required to build churches and pay for religious figures.

The amount of money that was spent on and by the military was another reason for the fall of the Roman Empire. Spending so much money on the military left very little money available for other resources that were needed by Rome, such as housing and providing infrastructure around the state. Not only did spending so much on the military mean less money for other important resources, it was also very frustrating to the people of the state. They no longer wanted to help with the defense of the Empire that had been letting them down so greatly. Because of this, the leaders then needed to spend money on those that were in mobs to defend the Empire. Not only was this not very effective but it also cost a great deal of money, which again meant less money to spend on the Empire but also caused the Emperors to raise taxes to pay for this hired protection.

The downtrodden state of the Roman Empire climaxed in 410 when the Visigoths escaped to Rome, to keep clear of the Huns. They became quite comfortable in their new home and started to destroy parts of the city. Attila and the rest of the Huns soon followed the Visigoths to Rome and also started to attack and destroy parts of the city while they began to conquer Rome. In 476 A.D., the German general Ocacer became leader when he overtook the Roman emperors. The condition of the state did not improve as the infrastructure was left decrepit and abandoned, forcing them to decay on their own. Pirates and bandits took over parts of the land and the area was no longer safe for travel or any sort of living. Fields were also abandoned and there was no longer any food to supply for the state. Business came to almost an entire halt and things never returned to their original state. This was the end of the Roman Empire. 



The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire

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