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Survival Of The Fittest Essay

950 words - 4 pages

The Roman Empire as a whole was based upon expansion. When expansion declined, so did the Roman Empire. But lack of expansion was not the only reason the Roman Empire went into decline. The three main reasons that the Roman Empire went into a decline, and soon fell, each empire at its time was: economic stagnation, political instability and demographic decline.
In 285 CE, the emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into two empires: the Western Empire whose capital was Rome and the Eastern or Byzantine Empire whose capital was Constantinople. He divided the empire because it was becoming too big for one person to rule. From this time on, the two empires would seldom work together and ...view middle of the document...

In the Western Empire, things weren’t so great for them. First off, when the empire had previously been plagued with sickness and their military numbers were down, they brought in barbarians to maintain their numbers and also to do other duties within the empire. When the Visigoths were let into the Eastern Empire to escape the Huns, the Romans didn’t pay any mind to them, causing the Visigoth to become upset and revolt.
So beginning in 376 and ending in 382 CE, the Western Empire (with A LOT of help from the Eastern Empire) fought the Gothic Wars. But it was the last battle in 378 CE, the Battle of Adrianople, that the Western Empire suffered a severe loss that many historians believe to be the beginning of the end of this empire . After this, more and more of the barbarians got into the empire, and started taking over from within. Within the century, Rome was sacked by Visigoths in 410 CE, lost North Africa, and was sacked by the Vandals in 455 CE. All of these events depleted the Western Empire’s resources to point where there was “little or nothing that could save it” .
Demographics played a big role in the faster decline of the Western Empire than the Byzantine Empire.. The Byzantine Empire was wealthier than the Western Empire, not only because of its industry and trading, but because of it’s being able to impose taxes on its citizens. It was very densely populated, resulting in a lot of urban cities. The Western Empire was more rural than urban, having a lot of land and not a lot of people to control the land.
In the end, it was really...

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