The Fall of Ancient Rome

Write a formal paper that discusses the problems that led and contributed to the fall of the Ancient Roman Empire. Please utilize this outline:


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-Brief History of Roman Republic and transformation into the Roman Empire.


-Economic reasons
i. Gap between rich and poor
ii. Impoverished workers became tied to the land as colonies (sold as the land was sold)
iii. As fewer members of the lower classes could afford to buy goods (no purchasing power),manufacturing and trade declined
iv. Large estates became self-sufficient, further hurting manufacturing and trade

Military reasons
i. Roman Republic
1. Armies were servants of Rome
ii. Roman Empire
1. Armies made and unmade emperors
iii. Reliance on barbarian troops
1. Not ultimately loyal to Rome
2. Could not be counted on to fight their fellow barbarians
3. Interested in obtaining booty, not defending Rome or furthering Rome’s interests


Political reasons
i. Decline in patriotism
1. Democracy did not exist in reality
2. Citizens lost their tie (voting rights) to the state
3. Patriotism became based on loyalty to an emperor, not to Rome
a. Most emperors did not inspire respect or loyalty
ii. East/West split
1. Two empires created problems regarding loyalty
iii. No orderly succession
1. Murders, forced suicides, and civil wars frequently accompanied the transition from one emperor to the next

Social reasons
i. Population decline
1. Hunger
2. Plagues
3. War
ii. Decline in intellectual culture
1. People did not dedicate themselves to public service and intellectual pursuits
2. People instead spent their leisure time watching chariot races and gladiatorial contests
iii. Religious divisions
1.Eastern and Egyptian cults took away the popularity and status of traditional Roman religion
2.New faiths like Christianity directly questioned and challenged concepts such as imperial divinity

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