Western Roman Empire Research Paper

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As scholars suggest, there is not just one main cause of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The major problem was that a multitude of situations occurred simultaneously, therefore resulting in the collapse of the Western Empire. The fall of what was a flourishing empire was a compilation of unfortunate events. Political, Social, Economic, Military, and even more issues arose, causing the downfall of Rome. Scholars will never determine one, single event that triggered the fall of the Western Roman Empire. One of the major influences of the fall of the Empire were its economic struggles. During the Golden Age of Rome, their economy was very stable. Infrastructure, industry, agriculture, and commerce were all thriving. Under Diocletian’s…show more content…
Mainly, religious turmoil throughout the Empire contributed to its downfall. Due to the surge of Christians in the third and fourth centuries, even more were being persecuted throughout the Empire. Also, the coloni, free tenant farmers, were no longer able to compete with the latifundia owners. The small farmers were forced to sell the little land they had and began to work on the latifundia. “To maintain the tax base and keep the Empire going despite the shortage of labor, the emperors issued edicts that forced people to remain in their designated vocations.” (Spielvogel, 181). Diocletian and Constantine forced people to stay in their hereditary jobs, which limited social mobility. Furthermore, lower class freedoms were reduced. Slaves took the place of the plebs. This limited the amount of jobs available for actual citizens of the Empire. All of these issues regarding the social immobility of the plebeians caused a uprising and revolt throughout the…show more content…
Due to the population decline, there was a shortage of troops. This left the boarders unprotected and the Germans were able to enter with ease. The Romans were forced to hire mercenaries, who were not loyal. The Romans became so desperate, they hired federates, who were German mercenaries. The federates and mercenaries never got paid by the Romans, so they turned on them and invaded. The boarders of the Empire were constantly shrinking, allowing Germanic tribes to move closer and closer. Eventually, the Romans try to stop the Visigoths from entering the Empire at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Emperor Valens was killed, also two thirds of the Roman army. Now, nothing was stopping the Visigoths from entering the Empire. Finally, in 476, Odoacer, a German, deposed the boy-emperor Romulus Augustulus, signaling the end of the Western Roman

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