The fall of the Roman Empire was caused by many things. There were political, social, and economic issues all involved in the fall of Rome. Some issues were bigger than others, but I believe there are some major factors that led to the fall of Rome. I believe that the major factors that led to the fall of Rome were that barbarians knew how to attack the Roman Empire, the economy was going very bad, and Christianity was changing the way people were thinking.
The first reason for the fall of Rome was that the barbarians knew how to attack the Roman Empire. Since Rome was running short on men to serve in the army, they needed to pay barbarians to fight in wars. It says on http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-empire/causes-for-the-fall-of-the-roman-empire that “One of the main causes for the Fall of the Roman Empire was the Barbarian Knowledge of Roman Military Tactics. The knowledge that the Barbarians gained of Roman style of warfare and military tactics by serving in the Roman army were eventually turned against the Empire and led to the sack of Rome by the Visigoths led by an ex-army soldier, Alaric.” This tells me that since the barbarians were in the Roman army for a while, they got to understand the way they fought and all their strategies. So when the barbarians attacked Rome, they already knew what Rome was going to do. The reason why they had to hire barbarians for the army was that people didn’t want to fight for their home. They would only do it for the money.
The second reason why the Roman Empire fell was that the economy was going very bad. Document 3 says “First the economic factor… While the empire was expanding, its prosperity was fed by plundered wealth and by new markets in the semi-barbaric provinces. When the empire ceased to expand, however, economic progress soon ceased.” What this tells me is that Rome would always conquer different places all the time. When they would do that, they plundered the cities they conquered and the Empire’s wealth source was made up of all the plunder. So when there was no more land to conquer, then there would be no more plundering. If there was no more plundering, then Rome’s economy would go down and they would have to find another source to get that money they always got from plundering. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find another source of money like that which led to the fall of Rome.
The last reason why the Roman Empire fell was because of Christianity. Christianity had to do with the way people saw things in Rome. Christianity affected the people’s outlook on the Empire. According to Document 2, it says “The introduction . . . of Christianity had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrine of patience; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister; a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the . . . demands of charity and devotion.” What this tells me is that Christianity helped people not follow the way of society of Rome. This made people not want to fight for their home and resulting of hiring barbarians. Also instead of people putting money toward Rome, they put money for charities and devotions. The Christian way was against the way Rome was heading for which really made a difference.
So in conclusion, the reason why the Roman Empire fell was because the barbarians knew how to attack the Roman Empire because they fought in the Roman army, the economy was going down because they couldn’t find a way to make up the money they were getting from plundering cities, and Christianity changed the way people thought of the Roman Empire making them go against the Roman way.
Courtney from Study Moose
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