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Fall of Rome. Four major reasons. Political issues Social problems Economic trouble Military issues. Political issues. Since the end of Pax Romana , Rome had years of civil war – why? No authority for emperor Unqualified emperors

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four major reasons
Four major reasons
  • Political issues
  • Social problems
  • Economic trouble
  • Military issues
political issues
Political issues
  • Since the end of PaxRomana, Rome had years of civil war – why?
    • No authority for emperor
    • Unqualified emperors
  • Empire will get divided into Eastern Roman Empire, Western Roman Empire
    • Capital moved to Byzantium

Why would dividing empire be such a big problem?

economic trouble
Economic trouble
  • Rome farm-based, but poor harvests
    • Land had been overworked
  • Trade not great – trade routes disrupted by foreign armies
  • High taxes – government desperate for money to pay armies
  • Inflation – value of money drops
    • What does this mean?
  • How could these help lead to the fall of Rome?
social problems
Social problems
  • Nobody proud to be Roman anymore
    • Years of lousy rulers, not a whole lot of good things led to people not caring about Rome like they used to
  • Huge gap between rich and poor
    • Top 1% of population had 50% of the money
  • Less people living in Rome – disease, famine
  • Christianity – people more devoted to religion than to Rome
    • Money to church, not to Empire
  • How could this lead to fall of Rome?
military issues
Military issues
  • Not enough soldiers
    • Rome had to use mercenaries – foreign soldiers paid to fight for Rome
  • What’s the problem with this?
  • Tribes north of Rome began invading
  • Enemies made technological advances
    • Iron stirrup – allowed people to ride horseback while wearing armor
  • How could this lead to the fall of Rome?
battle of adrianople 378 ce
Battle of Adrianople – 378 CE

Germanic Cavalry

Germanic Cavalry

Germanic Tribes and Families

Roman Army

Roman Army

why is the fall of rome a big deal
Why is the fall of Rome a big deal?
  • Controlled most of Europe for centuries
  • People of Europe don’t have anyone to defend them, build their roads, provide laws
  • Rome a united empire, not city-states – why does this matter?
  • Eastern Roman Empire will stay, Western Rome falls in 476 CE
  • Eastern Roman Empire  Byzantine Empire