Fall Of The Roman Empire The Roman Empire lasted for over a thousand years; from 756BC to 476AD. But from 180 to 476 Rome decreased. There are many, many reasons that it decreased. At one point it was said that Rome was more respected than feared. That was said only 42 years before Rome began to decrease .How did this world domination go from being the most powerful empire in the world to completely nonexistent? That is what Ill be answering in this essay. The last emperor before the decline of Rome began was Marcus Aurelius.
He was the third best emperor in Romes history. He was kind, benevolent, and humane. But during his reign the Pax Romana ended. The Pax Romana is the 200-year period of peace in Ancient Rome. It was said to be the greatest gift Rome gave to the ancient world.
This was one of the first events that started the chain of events that made Rome disapear. One of the most important reasons for the fall of Rome was the economy. There were many economic problems in Rome. Ill first start with the prisoners of war or the lack there of. When Emperor Hadrian drew the boundaries and said Rome could grow no more in 121 AD, the empire lost one of the three largest sources of income, prisoners of war. Another major source of income was trade.
Rome acted like the middleman in trade between the provinces. The provinces were told what to produce, and they produced it, sold it to Rome, who would then sell it to the other provinces for a higher price. But when the provinces became more and more independent, they cut out the middleman all together. So in that action the provinces were taking one of Romes largest sources of income. The third economic source for Rome was taxes.
As the two other sources of income began to disappear, the Rome government raised the taxes for the people of Rome. The taxes skyrocketed and the plebeians, Romes everyday average poor people who made up almost all of Rome, started to revolt. The next reason for the decline of Rome was that the people neighboring Rome like Germany and Persia grew increasingly hostile toward the Romans. They despised them for their earlier patriotism and for the fact that while Rome was growing, they kept taking there land. These neighbors became more sophisticated as they grew out of barbarism.
Soon these people became Romes enemies. Another reason for Romes decline was the decay of the upper class or the patricians. I dont know for sure what happed to them. It was probably numerous things including lead poising from the lead pipes, inbreeding, and them only looking for there own pleasure and not the good of the empire. They were the leaders of the country and with them only caring about themselves and not looking toward making Rome a better place they played a large role in the decline of Rome.
Another reasons for the decline was the plebeians. The patricians werent the only people to blame. The plebs grew soft and unpatriotic. The used to be proud to be Roman. They considered it an honor to die for your country.
But when the taxes rose the people didnt have the same feelings for Rome as they did before. Romans earlier Romans were known for being fierce fighters and they never let an opponent go with out conquering them. They eventually came to the point where countries just gave themselves up for fear of losing their all the people and things that were in these countries. But, when the Pax Romana ended they hadnt fought in200 hundred years. Rome had to use mercenaries, people that werent even Roman citizens to fight.
They also had to be paid which cut down more of the economy. There had always been a very clear dividing line between the classes of people in Rome. The wealthy people, as I have already said, were concerned only with themselves and the poor people were becoming worse and worse citizens as the 300-year decline was taking place. The wealthy people, or the patricians, made up an extremely small percentage of while the almost the rest were the Romans that were almost beyond poor and lived in poverty due to the taxes. Only about 4% of Rome were the middle class called the equestrians. The wealthy people never helped the poor and only made the taxes higher for them.
Also, the poor didnt obey the rules the patricians that were lawmakers made. These problems only fueled the feuds that existed between the classes. Another big reason was the emperors. After Marcus Aurelias no emperor was really good. Caracalla ruled from 211-217.
He had good intentions but he caused more economic problems by printing more money and without gold to back it up. This caused a major inflation and the value of money went down. After him there were 24 emperors and all but one died a violent death. Another emperor that did ok was Dioclesian who established a totalitarian government where the government controlled every aspect of life. And the last decent empire was Constantine who stopped the persecutions against the Christians that Nero started years earlier. The rest of the emperors didnt help the empire, but they hurt it. Eventually after many struggles the Empire split in 395 AD and the biggest part the Western half whose capital was Rome collapsed when the last emperor Romulus Augustulus was overthrown by Italian King Odvacar.
This happened in 476AD As you can see there were many causes for the fall of Rome. But you always wonder what the Romans could have done if they lasted longer. If the wealthy and the poor were more considerate to each other, than could they have founded the New World and we would be speaking Latin right now. If the emperors would have been chosen better, could we have had electricity in every home in 1876? If Rome could have just kept things under control, imagine all the gifts they could have given? Who knows what would have happened if the Roman Empire lasted? History Essays.