The Roman Empire and China developed into two of the major civilizations of the classical era. Though located on separate continents, they shared many characteristics, including the reasons for their collapse. Disease, internal, and external conflicts caused the declines both empires with the moving of Rome’s capital also being a factor in its fall; however the outcomes of their falls were different since China remained unified because of Confucianism. The eventual fall of the Chinese and Roman civilizations was the result of a slow decline. Conflict within the political systems of the Roman Empire and Han China was another factor that led to their fall. In the years during the civilizations’ decline, rulers had become corrupted and made decisions that ultimately hurt their society. Disagreements also arose in the Roman Empire between the wealthy landowners and the peasants who farmed the land. The same was true in China at the time. Furthermore, both civilizations were major centers of trade. Diseases were carried along trade routes – infecting and killing significant numbers of people. This large decrease in the populations of Rome and China weakened the empires, which in turn contributed to their downfalls. Both empires had large borders that were difficult and costly to protect. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the empires warred against the Huns, and in Rome’s case, against Germanic tribes as well. After Rome’s capital was moved to Constantinople, it became even more susceptible to invasions. Though the reasons for the declines of China and Rome were similar, the outcomes of their collapse were different. Unlike Rome, China had religion (Confucianism) to keep its people unified after its government fell into disarray. Christianity – the religion of the Roman Empire – was to new to be a unifying factor for the people of Rome. Therefore, China was able to retain its identity as a civilization, and emerge once again as a world power, while...
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