History

The Rise and Fall of the Great Roman Empire

Rome was an empire that stretched across the Ancient World. It extended from Britain to Egypt and was an empire of great strength. It rose to power quickly and had an influence on ancient civilization and an impact on modern society. Ironically, the reasons that led to the rise of this mighty civilization also led to its fall. Weak leadership, Economic problems, and a growing unfaithful army were all factors that contributed to Rome’s fall.

One of the factors contributing to the fall of Rome was problems within the government. The death of the last of the good and eligible emperors sparked civil wars, and the struggle for power began as the military deposed emperors and elevated their own leaders to the throne. Within 49 years, 20 emperors ruled Rome and all but one was violently eliminated. While the struggle for power continued, Rome’s unstable government found itself under threat of invasion by tribal people. They decided to increase the size of their army.

Emperors decided that in order to protect Rome from invaders, they should increase the size of their army. They hired almost everyone, even non-Romans, not caring to ensure their loyalty to Rome. At some point, the emperors decided to hire mercenaries to work for them in the Roman army. Those mercenaries’ loyalty was naturally directed towards their leaders, not to the country they were defending. Because the mercenaries did not care for Rome, they were willing to do anything for anyone if that person payed them handsomely enough, even if it was not in Rome’s favor.

Due to the sudden expansion of the army’s size, demands on financial resources increased and were difficult to keep up with. To meet those demands, emperors decided to raise taxes, and as taxes rose the value of money decreased, because Rome stopped bringing in new sources of wealth. Rome was no longer a safe place, robbery and piracy increased, so merchants feared to ship goods and people feared travel. Due to the economic crises Rome was in, it lost the stability and prosperity it once had.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Even though Rome used to be a powerful prosperous, empire it fell, and it fell hard. Many factors contributed to the fall of Rome, some of which were poor leadership, an unqualified army, and an economic crisis. The government was the first domino piece to fall and with it fell the rest of the elements. Having an unstable government lead to the making of bad decisions like expanding the army and filling it with mercenaries which in turn lead to the economic crisis.

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