Empire Essay, Research Paper
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Pax Romania was a great time for Rome, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The decline of Rome, however, was more than simply a good thing to be ended. It had problems that only surfaced every few decades, until the fall, when all the problems were shoved in Rome s face at the same time. The main problems of Rome can be separated into politics, economics, invasions, and religion. These four factors made Rome self-destruct.
Rome s main political problem was its lack of leadership. The army was negligent to follow weak leaders, and often killed them. The politics were closely woven into the other reasons of the decline. People wanted a scapegoat for the bad things happening, and the easiest person to blame is the emperor. The emperors did not always have the support of the army, and thus fell quite easily only to be replaced by an equally weak ruler who also had many enemies. With an empire as large as Rome was, it is hard for one man to keep up with everything going on.
Probably a stronger reason for the fall of Rome was the economic situation Rome had to face. The constant short reigns of emperors made people not trust Roman coinage, and that drove the economy into the ground. Banks refused to accept the money of certain emperors, and the emperors passed laws forcing the banks to trade using weak money. Price limits were set on items in an attempt to generate stability, but that failed. Distrust for money created distrust in the government, and aided Rome s fall.
The barbarians that constantly plagued Rome with their savage invasions did not help Rome s situations, either. Rome had always had a slight problem with invasions, but all the scuffles with Rome had caused the barbarians to become wiser. The battle tactics of the Germanic barbarians were strange to the Romans, and the unity of the Germans was able to aid in their overrunning of the Roman Empire. When an empire is as vast as Rome, an army is difficult to manage, and with small forces attacking from several directions, a frontier would be hard to defend. The crushing attacks of the Germans were devastating to Rome.
Perhaps the most influential factor in the decline of the Roman Empire was the widespread acceptance of Christianity. In the book of Revelations, there is a prediction that Rome will fall. In addition to the prediction of the fall, it gives the reason of the fall and declares that Rome was judged and found sinful. If a good portion of a country believes that the country will fall, then those people will loose faith in the country and the government. This will lead to an economic decline and failing faith in the emperor. These things can almost all be traced back to the spread of Christianity. The Romans did not like their religion being overtaken by Christianity, and thus Christians were persecuted. Christians became the secret enemy of Rome.
Rome s fall was caused from both internal and external forces. It had weak rulers and its economy slumped. At the same time, Germanic enemies of Rome invaded and took over while Christians caused havoc in the Roman system of faith. The fall of Rome was, as all things are, inevitable. It would have happened by the inside forces even if the outside forces had gone away, and the external forces would have crushed it even if the internal forces had disappeared. The truth is, the internal and external forces were in some ways related, so Rome was doomed to fall no matter what. Rome fell on the sword of enemies it created through oppression and weak rulers due to a corrupt governmental system. Rome was a great empire, but it could not help itself enough to avoid