Fall of Rome
Rome had quite a
run. First a monarchy, then a republic, then an empire – all roads
led to Rome for over 1200 years. In the Mediterranean, Rome was in
charge. During the Imperial period, Rome had some wonderful
emperors. Rome also suffered from a series of bad, corrupt and just
plain crazy emperors. There were lots of reasons why Rome
the end of the Empire included
The empire was too large to
The army was not what it used to
be. There was corruption in the military - dishonest generals
and non-Roman soldiers.
Civil wars broke out between
different political groups.
Emperors were often selected by
violence, or by birth, so the head of government was not always
a capable leader.
The increased use of slaves put
many Romans out of work
The rich became lazy and showed
little interest in trying to solve Rome problems.
The poor were overtaxed and
overworked. They were very unhappy.
Prices increased, trade
The population was shrinking due
to starvation and disease. That made it difficult to manage
farms and government effectively.
The Empire starting shrinking.
The Huns, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Saxons and other barbarian
tribes overran the empire.
The ancient Romans
tried to solve some of their problems by splitting the Roman Empire
in half, hoping that would make the empire easier to manage. Each
side had an emperor, but the emperor in charge was the emperor of
the western half, the half that included the city of Rome.
The Western Roman
Empire did not do well. Instead of getting stronger, they became
weaker. By 400 AD, it was pretty much over. The Huns, Franks,
Vandals, Saxons, Visigoths – any of these barbarian tribes might
have been the group that finally brought Rome down. They were all
attacking various pieces of the Western Roman Empire. In 476 AD, the
Visigoths sacked Rome. Europe entered the Dark Ages.
The Easter Roman
Empire received a new name – the Byzantine Empire. The
Byzantine Empire did fine. It lasted for another 1000 years!