History: the Fall of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire is said to have crumpled when the German brutes toppled the last Emperor, Romulus Augustus in 476 and presented a more equitable type of government which was fleeting. There exist many reasons regarding the fall of the Roman Empire. Every reason seemed to be intertwined with the other. Some of those who try and explain the fall of this empire blamed the initiation of Christianity. Constantine the Great initiated Christianity in 337 AD. Some people place blame on several factors which include, elevated cases of joblessness, inflation, increased expenditures in military, slave labor. Others blame ethical issues like the deterioration in moral standards, lack of discipline of the forces as well as corrupt leaders.
However, many researchers as well as historians have come to agree on four factors as the main cause of the fall of the Roman Empire. These include: one of the main factors that are deemed to explain this phenomenon is the increased expenditure on the military in a bid to expand. As a result, this left the empire bankrupt and unable to run its processes. Secondly, there was an over-dependence on slave labor. As a result of this action, it led to a rise in unemployment.
The third reason was the decline in ethics of the leaders leading to corruption as well as abuse of power. The Praetorian Guard was in the limelight for misuse of power. This orchestrated biases in the selection of emperors as well as the execution of those who lacked the favor of the guard. The fourth reason was the dwindling Roman Economy.
Causes of the fall of the Roman EmpireSpending too much on the MilitarySpending too much on the military was one of the leading contributors as to why the Roman Empire failed. This was done in a bid to expand. Henceforth, a lot of money was used to fund battles abroad. For the Romans to gain access into other empires, they had to use a lot of money on their legions who took the initiative to conquer. The supply lines, as well as the armies of the Roman Empire, grew and over-stretched yielding thousands of militias being trained as well as deployed from the Roman Empire into other empires with the aim of invading or defending.
The Empire, also, relied on the militias in securing the borders of the territories that they had claimed from savage attacks. This prompted massive expenditure on the manufacturing of weapons as well as that spent on the upkeep of the soldiers. The massive spending on soldiers, as well as firearms, left the Roman Empire with minimal funds for other government expenditures such as building roads, construction of more decent houses and bridges as was the trend.
Also, this leads to inflation. Similarly, the citizens of the Roman Empire started viewing the Empire as a failed state. As a result, they engaged in ceaseless riots which became common in the Roman Empire during its last century. This prompted distrust of the people to the empire. The outcome was that more and more people failed to volunteer in joining the army. This created a problem for the government as it ended up hiring common thugs as well as non-Roman soldiers. The Roman administration was compelled to increase taxes to compensate for their military expenditure which further worsened the low determination of the Roman people. Many of the citizens just kept three-quarters of their weekly wage. This brought about demoralization. The funds raised from these taxes were got wasted on mercenaries who continually had to be replaced.
This went on until the Roman government could no longer afford to send the big battalions of soldiers abroad. This resulted into poorly defended borders that were vulnerable to attacks. The non-Romanian soldiers got too proud to serve a failing empire. As a result, they began conquering sections of the Roman Empire inspired by the reason that the Roman government could no longer afford to pay them and also to send detachments as well as funds to salvage these parts. The Roman Empire defense also, grew weak because they now started defending their empire against its mercenaries. Similarly, the barbarians began reclaiming the conquered provinces from the Romanians.
This made it considerably simple for them to overcome the Roman Empire. The government started getting desperate to ensure the loyalty of the soldiers. As a result, they doubled their salaries and frequently assured discharge payments like property or cash. Additionally, the government also spent a lot of finances in the transportation of food to ensure their mercenaries got fed. Likewise, they also spent on their horses, roads as well as bridges that needed repair. Acquisition of weapons was also another expenditure. The luxury accorded to the soldiers interfered with their discipline. Consequently, the Roman gold and silver mines got depleted as they used them to conquer other territories which failed. Over-dependence on slave laborOver-dependence on slave work was another reason that prompted the downfall of the Roman Empire. Amid the first two centuries of the Roman Empire, the number of slaves expanded significantly.
The over-dependence on slaves had exceptionally adverse impacts to the empire. Not exclusively did it prompt the corruption of ethics, models, and morals yet additionally inspired the stagnation of new hardware to create items all the more effective. The empire never ran shy of slaves any way they oppressed them. This made the slaves revolt prompting a series of encounters which were alluded to as the Servile Wars. Normal agriculturists got inspiration of the free work readily accessible from the slaves, and this prompted joblessness in the domain.
This made an upsurge in slaves. The most recent couple of hundreds of years of the empire saw an enormous ascent in Christianity. Accordingly, states of mind towards slaves changed. Individuals began tolerating them socially. Several of the slaves which the empire relied upon were liberated therefore discouraging the creation of products and additionally weapons. This constrained the administration to employ laborers who got paid for significantly less work.
Over-dependence on slave labor prompted the inadequacy in the innovation and furthermore advancement of the Roman Empire amid the last four hundred years. At last, the realm was not able to offer adequate products for their expanding masses and furthermore troops. Thus, they what’s more neglected to realize new strategies for building up their machinery or add to their incomes while attacking different domains.
Political corruption was also another evil that led to the fall of the empire. It was rampant in the Roman Empire and precisely in Rome. Additionally, it was within the upper ranks of the guards (Praetorian Guard). The superpowers bestowed upon the Praetorian Guard motivated them to enhance corruption in the empire. They were the most distinguished as well as decorated soldiers within the kingdom. They also acted as personal bodyguards to the Emperor. The corruption was such a menace that the Praetorian Guard could hold secret meetings and conspire to overthrow the emperor as well as make a choice on who they deemed suitable for the seat as a replacement. For instance, when Tiberius was defeated as an Emperor, the Praetorian Guard auctioned the seat to the highest bidder for 100 years. The political corruption also yielded a lot of civil conflicts within the Roman kingdom.
The Romans were short of putting stringent measures of deciding who would be the next emperor, unlike the Early Greeks who used to hold elections. Their process of choosing a new emperor involved decisions by the senate, the army and also the Praetorian Guard. However, the final decision was made by the Praetorian Guard who looked on a person who would offer him the best offer of a reward. During the 3rd century, for instance, the title of the emperor changed thirty-seven times. Out of this 37 times, 25 were removed by assassination. This led to overall weakness as well as contributing to the fall and decline of the empire.
Dwindling Roman Economy
Another explanation behind the Roman Empires decline and inevitable fall was the decreasing of the Roman Empire’s monetary strength. This influenced about each part of Roman life, from the decline of the populace to the absence of support of the establishment. There were likewise some military perspectives that prompted their death and because individuals ended up noticeably uninvolved in joining the Roman armed force Rome was left unprotected against the majority of their adversaries. The essential driver of the decline of the economy was the absence of flowing money in the Western Empire.
The varying rainfall patterns, as well as the climate in the Mediterranean, started to alternate every year between hot, dry spells and icy, stormy seasons. This diminished the quantity of yields and compelled the Romans to initiate irrigation schemes. The gigantic amounts of water required for this undertaking had to be contained in substantial stores, and the standing water soon wound up noticeably. Stagnant water was a perfect condition for reproducing mosquitoes which then became carriers of malaria. Malaria became a menace to the kingdom and resulted in the death of very many people further dwindling the economy.
There is no candid reason which explains the fall of the Roman Empire. However, the over expenditure on the military development put a lot of strain on the Roman Empire government. It cost them a lot and diminished their economy. Thus, this could be the leading factor as to why the empire failed. Similarly, the dwindling economy also played a significant role in the fall of the empire. Also, over dependence on the slaves made the technological advancement of the empire to fall in the last 400 years. The Roman Empire is said to have crumpled when the German brutes toppled the last Emperor, Romulus Augustus in 476 and presented a more equitable type of government which was fleeting.
Ando, Clifford. Imperial ideology and provincial loyalty in the Roman Empire. Vol. 6. Univ of California Press, 2013.
Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volume Six. Sheba Blake Publishing, 2017.
Kaegi, Walter Emil. Byzantium and the Decline of the Roman Empire. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Luttwak, Edward N. The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third. JHU Press, 2016.
White, Leslie A. The evolution of culture: the development of civilization to the fall of Rome. Routledge, 2016.