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Why Did Rome Fall? Essay

899 words - 4 pages

The Fall of RomeThe Fall of RomeThe Fall of RomeThe Roman Empire was without a doubt the most powerful governing body in the Mediterranean ever. Why did Rome fall?There was not any single cause to the fall of Rome. It was many things occurring in succession to each other.After the Punic wars with Carthage, Rome acquired many new lands that it did not have before. During peace times it was easy to govern these areas but during war times it proved difficult.The government had to pay soldiers to patrol the frontiers of the empire; it could no longer rely on the loot to serve as the pay for the soldiers.This took a significant amount of money out of the Roman treasury. Some emperors wanted to save money and made the army too small to have control over such a large empire.The economy of Rome was also suffering.Rome was importing goods from its colonies but wasn't exporting nearly as much. This created an imbalance of trade. The colonies were creating their own finished goods and no longer relied on Rome for them. New coins were then made out of lead and gold to devalue the currency. Merchants now charged more money because these new coins were not worth as much as the old ones. This created inflation, this problem plagued the empire until its fall.The problem of succession also contributed to the fall of Rome. There was never a set system of succession. After the death of an emperor, generals competed with each other for power. Once someone gained power they didn't rule for long; someone often assassinated them. This weakened the authority of Rome; corruption was common and law was almost non-existent.Diocletian tried to make reforms to make the empire as strong as it was before. He realized that the empire was too large for one person to govern, he split the empire in half and took control of eastern part himself. He then appointed a co-emperor to rule in the west. He also reorganized the problems in the civil service and made them responsible directly to the emperor. He increased the size of the army and trained them better. To improve the economic health of the empire, Diocletian set limits on prices and wages to slow down inflation.To give some stability in agriculture and manufacturing, he ordered people to stay in their jobs. There was no room for promotion. Diocletian died in 305 A.D.In 324 A.D. Constantine took over as emperor.He reunited the east and west under his own rule. He also built a new capital at Byzantium, on the Bosporus. He named this city Constantinople. Constantine wanted a new capital that would...

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