Western Civilization Essay
Rome was one of the greatest empires that ever lived. With all of its power, it was the center of the world. Rome was a united empire and with the support of its citizens the empire went on to live for many years. Rome had many strengths such as wealth, location, and especially their military. Their geographical location made them very strong and powerful because being by the sea made trade easy as well as exporting and importing to help grow the empire. The Roman Empire started small and rapidly spread through Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The Roman Empire was lead by emperors.
For many years Romans controlled all parts of the government and military, but slowly they started to fall apart. Every decision that Rome made had a vast affect on the empire. Because of the decisions the Roman Empire made, it created a domino affect on the empire and the empire then started to fall apart. Also, many thoughtless decisions made by emperors weakened the city and eventually caused the Roman Empire to crumble. The empire declined due to political, economic, and religious reasons. It also declined because of the military and the decreasing population.
The Roman Empire began in 27BC and before that it was called the Roman Republic. Since they expanded and gained so much power they became the Roman Empire. While the Roman Empire grew, so did everything else. It made many improvements in the arts and sciences. They also encouraged men and women to have an education. The Romans was a modern empire because it allowed their people to be free, but also have them understand that they have to follow the laws. Most empires did not allow the freedom the Roman Empire gave their people, and that is why the Roman Empire was one of the best. The reasons why the Roman Empire was the best because it kept the society together and the military helped with they safety of the people.
One reason why the Roman Empire declined was because of religious views. Rome was united because they followed the same religion. Since they followed the same religion, views, and ideas it kept them together. The Roman religion affected the people in a good way and taught them to stay together. The new religion of Christianity started to attract a majority of the Romans. Everyone started to follow Christianity and it become part of everyone’s’ lives. Since everyone started to follow Christianity and what is what doing to the people, the Roman emperors felt that Christianity was really powerful and could be a possible threat to the Roman Empire. Many of the Romans committed to the faith of Christianity and they refused to abandon it because it was the most important part of their life.
The Romans took their beliefs very seriously and would do anything to keep them. Because the Romans went against the Emperors, it led to many differences in the society. Also, Romans started to disconnect from the “united” Roman Empire. The Romans were splitting up and they were not united anymore. This caused the decline in patriotism and the Romans were not as patriotic as they used to be. The Romans disunity from the religion also caused problems in politics and government. By the time Constantine legalized Christianity it was too late because the Roman people were already on their own. The ruling to ban Christianity was a terrible decision and caused the empire to fall.
Another reason why the empire fell was because of the many political problems. One major problem with the Empire was that it was a huge city, spreading from Spain to the Persian Gulf. The Roman government system was built to control a small region, not an empire. Since the empire was so huge, it was very hard to go from one side to the other side. Because of the huge area it was also hard to communicate with everyone. Back the, they did not have clear roads or cars to travel so it was hard to keep the whole empire under one government. Because they could not keep the whole empire together, two capitals were created. The capitols separated the empires, the Western Empire and the Eastern Empire, but they were still one huge empire. They followed the same laws, rules. Adding the second capitol however, added economic problems. The government could not control the whole region and started to make mistakes.
The emperors in charger after the huge empire was created were not trained to deal with the huge land; and that is why they made mistakes. With that, the soldiers lost trust of the emperors and started to take orders from the general. In those times, the military was mostly everything and that showed how strong and powerful the empire really is. Because of this military not trusting the emperor, it was most likely that the empire would fall. Because they expanded so much and did not know how to control it caused their decline. When the Empire was split into the eastern and western half it caused many problems. Splitting the region resulted in having two different emperors.
Having two different rulers caused much confusion and they both had different ideas. The Eastern half of the Empire was made up of the heavily urbanized and rich trading cities of Greece, Persia, and Egypt, whereas the Western Empire was comprised of rather poor, small cities and extensive farmland. Splitting the empire caused the people to be not united. Having the people ruled by separate emperors was difficult because the Roman Empire is used to being united and together. This caused people to have more of an opinion, which caused the decline of the Empire as a whole.
The most important factor that leads the fall of Rome was the decline of the economy. The Romans were very wealthy, but slowly their economic system started to decrease. Rome made most of its money from taking over other countries and empires. When they invaded other countries and territories they took their money and resources to help the Roman Empire grow. They stopped getting their money because there were no more countries or empires to take over or conquer. Since Rome did not have a fixed economy, they had no more money. The Romans did not set up an economy where they would have a flow of money. Also, when the military declined, other nations stopped paying tributes and taxes that ran the military and the empire. This led to the Roman Empire not having enough money to support the empire. Because money was scarce, roads and bridges were stopped being built; which led to a decrease in trade.
One way they were making lots of money was from trade. Since that was decreasing, it stopped them getting money. Because there were less places to travel, trading decreased. Because the people had no one too trade their food with farmers were affected. Eventually, the farmers entirely died out and Rome’s main economic giver was lost. Also, wars were a great impact on the economy. The Roman Empire fought many wars, and as they fought more, they needed more money. The empire was spending most of the money in the military.
Later on they did not have the money to support the military. Because they needed more money, they started to make more coins. Making more money caused inflation. Because the government could not receive money through other places, their empire slowly declined due to the inflation. The economic problem caused many other problems to arise. Since they had no money, they couldn’t protect their country or their people. Because of the economic issue everything else started to fall apart and that is why the main reason of the empire’s decline was because of their economic issues.
The Roman Empire also was not very up to date with using and inventing technology, which caused some of the fall. The Roman Empire was using slaves to do many of their work. The empire was an agricultural economy so most of their money would come through farming, so they would have slaves doing this. Since they had slaves, they did not progress in terms of advancing their technology. Having people do their work for little or no pay, they did not realize it would affect them. When something was needed, they would just use the slaves to make it or get it. This caused the empire to decline because they never furthered their research or technology to keep up with the rest of the world. Because they did not have the resources to keep updated they were being left behind and other countries were invading the empire. Also, they did not advance in their weapons, so the military was weak. They didn’t invent any new weapons, while other countries and empires were having new weapons. Having no technology caused the empire to decline.
The decline of the Roman Empire was also caused because of the empires leaders. If the leaders were qualified and knew which was best for the empire, the empire may have survived. For example, the emperors should have made a correct system for the economy. If they had a legitimate way of getting money, then the empire would have not crashed. Since the emperors believed they would be getting money from their takeovers, they would be okay. They did not realize that one day they would be no more places to conquer. Also, when the trading had stopped, the emperors should have found another way to do the trading, but they did not.
The emperors of the Roman Empire were not experienced enough to handle the responsibility and that is why the Roman Empire fell. Also, Christianity was outlawed to keep all of the Roman citizens under complete control, but that did not happen. The people rebelled when they were told they could not follow Christianity. The emperors also could not control their huge empire. Because they were wide spread, they had a hard time keeping everything and everyone under control. With the right leadership, many of these problems would have not even occurred. Also, problems would have been resolved much quicker because the leader would know what he is doing.
Another important reason for the decline of the empire was the invasions. The Romans have been fighting against the barbarians for many years. The Roman Empire had to be on the look out from the barbarians that lived on the borders. These barbarians formed a constant threat for invading Rome. Since the empire was so big, it needed more manpower to cover all the borders. After time, they did not have enough people in the military to secure the borders, After time, the barbarians were out numbering the Romans. They were also getting stronger.
The barbarians started to close in on the Empire. During the war, Rome was not as powerful and the barbarians were crushing them. The Romans could not defeat them because the barbarians kept coming. The barbarians completely overwhelmed the Roman people. The Romans were getting killed and no one to replace them with. Because the shortage of people in the military, the barbarians came and invaded the Roman Empire. The empire could not protect itself because of the multiple problems. One problem caused another and another. If Roman Empire had money to support the military and have it be strong as powerful like it was before, the Empire would have not been invaded.
Towards the end of the empire, the decreasing in population had an effect on the empire. Depopulation occurred for many reasons. Because there was no trade, there were no farmers and industries, and also less people in the military. The shortage of industry led to Romans importing goods rather than exporting. Since they had no money, industries did not have enough money to run and make goods. Therefore, people who worked in the industries had no jobs and had to go elsewhere to get a job.
The shortage of farmers led to Romans depending on other nations for food, basic needs of life. Depending on other countries did not help that much because they did not always give the Romans what they wanted and when they wanted it. The military was reduced because there was not enough people to join and keep it as big as they did before. This shortage of people was brought on by a few factors. Because of having economic problems, people left, which made the Roman Empire smaller and weaker. The military was not as big as it used to be which caused other nations to see the Roman Empire as weak.
There were many reasons why the Roman Empire declined. It took the Roman Empire many years to come to an end. The Roman Empire stood for many years and it was one of the best empires that ever stood. The empire was strong and united, but eventually it came to an end. The economy was one big problem because it affected and started many other problems to follow. When the economy crushed, it caused a huge affect on the empire as a whole. The empire was not getting money, which stopped many projects and trading. The empire was not strong and powerful anymore because they had no money to support the military and trading. Other big problems were the religious and political issues. Christianity had a major outlook as it came into effect. When the new religion came about, it caused the people to separate and question their emperor.
The new religion caused a lot of abruption being that the emperor banned it from ever being believed in. Many of the poor political decisions caused the decline. With the land getting bigger and bigger the government did not know how to control it and made two capitals. Having two capitals instead of caused the Roman Empire to separate and united. Some of the few small problems were the technology advancement they did not have. Not being up to date with technology caused a problem because they were using their old ways. Because they did not have the technology they were not as powerful. All of these reasons were causes to why the Roman Empire declined.
Goldsmith, Edward. “The Fall of the Roman Empire.” n.pag. Web. 15 Nov 2012. .
Gibbon, Edward. “General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West.” Ancient History Sourcebook n.pag. Web. 15 Nov 2012. .
Bartlett, Bruce. “HOW EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT KILLED ANCIENT ROME .” . N.p.. Web. 15 Nov 2012.
“The Fall of the Roman Empire.” . Ancient Civilization . Web. 15 Nov 2012.
“Slavery In Ancient Rome.” Ancient History Sourcebook n.pag. Web. 15 Nov 2012. .
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