Causes of the Fall of the Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Decline of the Roman Empire Pages: 6 (1954 words) Published: December 3, 2011
Extended Essay Rough Draft
The Fall of The Roman Empire

Why the topic is interesting:
The Roman Empire was one of the greatest and most powerful communities that ever existed, so how such a mighty Empire could decline in power is very interesting. Background:
What was the Roman Empire?
The Roman Empire came after the era of The Roman Republic. At its peak, it controlled territories from Britain and Germany to the Persian Gulf and North Africa. The great Empire was then separated into the Byzantine Empire and the Western Roman Empire and attacked by Barbarian invaders. Thesis

In my opinion, the Fall of the Roman Empire was mostly caused by sociological and political factors. Some examples of this are the decline of morals and values in Rome that caused internal chaos and an increase in crime. Other factors included political reforms and wars with the Barbarians. Another possible conflict was that the introduction of Christianity to the Roman Empire led to many of the people becoming pacifists and thereby creating a weaker military force and allowing the Empire to be over taken far more easily. This is a case where an internal social conflict resulted in an external military issue.

Part One
In order to have all possible arguments shown, I have been sure to choose 10 different sources that portray many different points of view, ideas, reasoning, etc. Some of the ideas in the sources go hand in hand with my thesis whereas others provide completely new information or thoughts that disagree with my thesis completely. However, all of the sources used are valid forms of information and will help in forming my opinions.

For this paper, my thesis is that the Roman Empire’s decline in power was ultimately due to political and sociological causes. In order to prove my thesis is correct, I will state my supporting facts and ideas as well as counter claims to my thoughts. I believe this is the only way to properly state an idea; by giving an idea as well as its opposition. Part Two

Social Causes lead to Political Causes
In 509 b.c., Rome changed their government to a Republic which became an internal conflict amongst the Romans. This was largely due to the fact that the Republic had a Senate and a Consul, both of which were positions of authority only given to the wealthy men of Rome, also called Patricians. Many disputes among the people of Rome began to arise, and acts of violence even began to occur within the empire walls. It was not until the less wealthy citizens found an officer that would vote in their favor and veto the bills of the rich. Once the people of Rome solved the political issue, and had a stable government, they began to take control of Italy and the Carthage Empire, proving that the Empire does not thrive during social or political conflict.

Sociological Issues affect Military
Another issue that arose from social troubles and led to political problems was when the religion of Christianity was introduced to the Roman people. Some have a theory that by introducing the religion of Christianity to the Roman Empire, a religion widely based around forgiveness, mercy, kindness etc., the Roman people, military men included, became weaker. Mercy was seen as a sign of weakness in the eyes of a military as strong as Rome’s. Some authors think even go as far to say that “Christianity made many Roman citizens into pacifists, making it more difficult to defend against the Barbarian attackers.”

However valid this point may be, the view of Dr. Khan is slightly biased on the issue because he has proclaimed to be Muslim and defends his religion in several of his other writings. Therefore, his views on religion cannot be viewed as an impartial source. But, there are some other authors who agree that the Barbarians did play a descent size role in the Fall of the Roman Empire such as Peter Heather who wrote The Fall of The Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians. There are...
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