The Fall of Rome

The Fall of Rome
The Roman Empire was one of the major world powers in the ancient world. In the 2nd – 3rd centuries AD, the Roman Empire was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean and one of the most powerful empires in the world. Nevertheless, in spite of the rise of the Roman Empire and its overwhelming power and supremacy over other states, the Roman Empire proved to be unable to resist to the barbarian invasion. In fact, since the 4th century AD the Roman Empire had started to fall apart, whereas the barbarian attacks had accomplished the fall of the Roman Empire and by the 5th century AD the powerful empire was ruined. In such a context, the question concerning reasons of the fall of the Roman Empire arises. In this regard, it is hardly possible to speak about one factor that caused the downfall of the huge and powerful empire. Instead, several factors played the determinant part in the fall of the Roman Empire, including internal conflicts and struggle for power in the Roman Empire, the vast territory of the empire and the increasing pressure from the part of barbarian tribes affected consistently Rome and led eventually to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Internal conflicts and civil wars
Internal conflicts and civil wars persisted in the Roman Empire and caused vast devastations and economic stagnation in the empire. The huge empire was in the almost permanent state of the civil war that naturally undermined its power and consumed all resources Rome could use to resist to the barbarian invasion . The political system of Rome created favorable conditions for the ongoing struggle for power in which all means were used, including military conflicts as the last argument used by opposing parties to take the power in Rome. As a result, the Roman Empire was practically exhausted under the impact of internal conflicts and civil wars that made Rome unable to resist to the barbarian invasion.
Vast territory
At the same time, another factor that caused the fall of the Roman Empire was what seemed to be the manifestation of its power – the vast territory of the Empire. In fact, The Roman Empire stretched from Britain to the Middle East and from Germanic tribes to Africa. The vast territory of the empire made Rome vulnerable to attacks of barbarian tribes, which attacked bordering cities and regions of the empire causing huge devastations and material losses. The Roman Empire could not protect the vast territory of the empire because its military and financial resources could not provide the sufficient protection of the vast territory. In such a way, the Roman Empire could only respond to attacks of barbarian tribes but it could not prevent them and create the strong borderline and defense line that could protect Rome from barbarian tribes.
At the same time, Rome needed to spend significant financial and material resources as well as the military power to keep provinces under Roman control. Some provinces were unwilling to obey to the power of Rome, whereas the internal struggle for power within the empire increased the risk of disobedience and rebellions in provinces. As a result, Rome should spent substantial resources on maintaining its vast territory.
Barbarian invasion
Finally, the barbarian invasion was the last stroke that destroyed the Roman Empire. Huge barbarian armies penetrated the territory of the Roman Empire without facing a substantial resistance because the military forces of Rome were dispersed because of the huge territory of the empire and Rome could not respond promptly on attacks of barbarian tribes. As a result, barbarian tribes attacked and penetrated in depth of the Roman Empire till Guns had reached eventually Rome and invaded the capital of the empire. Eventually, Rome proved to be unable to resist to the increasing pressure and ongoing attacks from the part of barbarian tribes and the powerful empire and the eternal city were finally ruined by Goths in 410 .


Thus, the Roman Empire fell because of internal conflicts and the vast territory. The Empire could not protect its vast territory from barbarian attacks, whereas internal conflicts prevented the Empire from building up a strong army that could build a powerful defense line to protect Rome from barbarian attacks. In such a situation, the barbarian invasion was an important but not determinant factor that caused the fall of Rome. Instead, internal factor proved to be the main cause of the fall of Rome. The fall of Rome meant the fall of the dominant power in the region which controlled the Mediterranean region and defined its cultural, political and socio-economic development.

Works Cited:

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounter: A Brief Global History. Volume I: From 1500 to the Present. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Mitchell, Joseph R. and Helen Buss Mitchell, eds. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in World History, Volume I. Guilford: McGrawHill/Dushkin, 2007.

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