Fall of the Roman Empire

Powerful Essays
Jason Schaeffer
English Composition I
Fridays 12:30 – 3:30
12/01/06

Cause and Effect Essay

The study of history is one of the most important aspects of our lives. The reason we look at our past is to get a better idea of where we are going. One of the most important events in our history was the fall of the Roman Empire. It is essential that the causes that lead to Rome 's collapse be investigated, in this way we can compare them to our own civilization, and hopefully prevent our own extinction. There are several aspects that lead to Rome 's fall, all of which fit into four basic categories; political, military, economic, and spiritual. We will look at each of these individually, focusing on the largest points. One of the problems facing the Roman military was a complete lack of manpower. To attempt to correct this Rome actively recruited from the various Germanic tribes. Eventually whole units, including the officer corps, were made up of Germans. This completely changed the identity of the Roman army, the professionalism and expertise that had existed for centuries would never again be present on the battlefield. The Germanization of the army, as it is called, was a direct result of a loss of patriotism and civic duty on the part of the citizens of Rome. Extremely overbearing taxes, labor services, and state regulations imposed on the middle and lower classes, turned the state into the enemy. People no longer wanted to be recognized as being a citizen of Rome. This is a cause that affects us today; with unpopular wars, a corrupt and untrustworthy government, and no change to the issues that matter most, people no longer wish to support the state. Americans are the least patriotic that they have ever been, including during the Vietnam War. Most feel that the government and country are so far gone that it is pointless to even try.
During the first Gulf War, the United States Army had eighteen infantry divisions, now there are ten. To counter



Bibliography: Grant, Michael. The Fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Collier Books, 1990. Ferrill, Arther. The Fall of the Roman Empire. New York, N. Y.: Thames and Hudson, 1986 Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ed. J. B. Bury. New York: AMS Press, 1974, vol. 7 pg 348-364 Perry, Marvin. Western Civilization: A Brief History, fifth edition. Ed. George W. Bock. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005

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