The Decline And Fall Of Empires

1294 words - 6 pages

Most of the civilizations throughout history have been taken over or replaced by other civilizations due to disunity and chaos. Although an empire might seem prosperous, the decline and fall of empires are sometimes inevitable. Even though an empire might seem invincible, there are many factors that could lead to the sudden decline or fall of an empire. Over many centuries, historians have composed many reasons, such as weak militaries, economic burdens, dynastic successions, and external enemies, which have been known to contribute to the rise and fall of many once successful empires.
One of the most common causes of the decline of an empire results from having weak military power and martial spirit. In order for an empire to be successful, that empire must present a strong will to fight or sacrifice property and life in order to defend its state. If an empire does not possess this characteristic, it often will quickly diminish. For example, the Roman Empire became successful because of the willingness of the males to defend the state. Shortly after, the males lost their willingness to defend and the empire had to recruit unreliable mercenaries to fight in war. Unlike the successful army of the past, these mercenaries did not have true loyalty to Rome. Because of constant warfare, the Romans had heavy military spending. The Roman Empire had become too large to control effortlessly. Families and soldiers in parts of the Roman Empire adopted local customs. The Roman Empire was made up not only of natives from the Italian peninsula, but it was also made up of barbarians from the conquered lands. The barbarians were very knowledgeable when it came to Roman warfare and military tactics. Corruption became widespread throughout the Empire, which, in turn, led to the decline and fall of the empire.
External enemies of empires often led to their decline and fall. Successful empires were based around conquering other territories and a strong military strength. The conquered usually tried to seek revenge. Meanwhile, the wealth that was often generated by the powerful empires sparked envy. Powerful empires often conflicted with their less affluent neighbors. The Byzantine Empire, in 1070, faced the Seljuk Turks. The Seljuk Turks were the main Muslim threat to the empire. The Byzantine entered battle with the Seljuk Turks in 1071. This battle was known as the Battle of Manzikert. The Byzantine Empire lost almost half of its territory. It resulted in civil conflicts and an economic crisis that severely weakened the Byzantine Empire's ability to adequately defend its borders. This was a catastrophic defeat that resulted in a loss of some of the Balkans and majority of the Asia Minor. After these events, the Byzantine Empire steadily experienced internal decay. From the First Crusades occurred when the Byzantines asked for helped against the Islam neighbors. They were steadily losing control of their empire. The Crusaders conquered Constantinople in 1204, and...

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