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The Fall Of The Roman Empire

523 words - 3 pages

While such factors as corruption and political instability contributed to the fall of Rome, the primary reason for its demise was its size and inability to effectively managed that size. Though many things contributed to the empire's demise, those three things are the biggest factors. All of these 3 things together mixed with a lot of little things, caused the Roman Empire to fall.Corruption in Rome was widespread, both politically and socially. The rich ruled and the poor had no power. There was no middle class in Rome. Emperors and nobles threw huge, extravagant gladiator parties that were extremely wasteful. Politicians constantly plotted against each other and their own leader. ...view middle of the document...

Because of this a brief period of anarchy reigned each time an emperor died or was assassinated.The major reason Rome fell was that its own sheer size worked against it. The actual decline of Rome, in the litteral sense, is thought to have begun with the reign of Commodus in 180A.D. Lanes of communication in military, food supplies, and cultural terms, were far to tortuous. Troops defending a particular point had to be withdrawn to fight another battle on the opposite side of the empire.Another thing that was instrumental in Rome's fall that is directly related to its size is taxes and inflation. The larger the empire got the more money and goods it took to sustain it. When the revenues of the state remained inadequate to maintain national defense, taxes were increased further, such as the sales tax increase from 1 percent to 4.5 percent in 444 A.D. (Bernardi 1970) . This did not help the problem however, as taxpayers invested increasing amounts of time, money, and effort into tax evasion schemes. So, even though taxes were going up, revenues were going down, hastening the decline of the Roman state. Wealthy landowners avoided the heavy taxes by withdrawing from society altogether and making their own little communities. In the end, there was no money left to pay the army, build ships, or protect the borders.In the end, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to over taxation, inflation, the sheer size of the empire, and it's own inability to regulate it's policies, and manage resources throughout its territories.

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