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The Fall of the Roman Empire



A. The crisis in the empire actually began in the III century AD when there have been profound changes in the political, economic and cultural life. Political anarchy associated with the constant change of emperors and usurpers in the different parts of the State in conjunction with the invasion of Germanic tribes led to the destabilization of the entire empire. Barbarians always came through the border, and the Emperor was not enough time, energy and resources to drive them from the provinces.

B. The economy of the Roman Empire for a long time developed unevenly. Western areas were less economically developed than the eastern ones, where they were concentrated over a large labor, commercial and industrial resources, and thus were the unfavorable balance of trade.

C. Crisis hit the entire state, numerous problems inside and constant intrusion led eventually to eliminate it.

I. A list of reasons for the fall of the empire.

A. Military bloc:

1. Inability to control the actions of their rulers’ generals:

1.1. Loss of the combat capability of the army:

A) Weak leadership troops

B) The operation of the soldiers (the assignment of most of their salaries)

1.2. Dynastic crisis

2. Lack of the effective army because:


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2.1. Inability or lack of the recruitment due to:

A) Demographic crisis

B) Refusal to serve since there was no incentive to it (the empire no longer inspired men, did not cause their patriotic desire to fight for its salvation)

C) The reluctance of landowners to give workers in the army (the center of gravity shifted to the set of the rural population, which inevitably affected the agricultural production. It would suffer even more damage, if only not widespread the draft evasion)

2.2. Large losses in the army, including most of its professionals

2.3. Recruits “low quality” (townspeople were unfit for the military service while soldiers from the village were called “unnecessary” people)

3. Hiring the service of barbarians led to:

A) The weakening of the army

B) The penetration of the barbarians to the territory and the administrative apparatus of the empire

4. Mutual feeling of hostility of the army and the civilian population: the soldiers not only fought but terrorizing the local population as well that had been aggravated:

A) The economic situation of the population and the empire as a whole

B) Psychological climate and discipline in the army and the people

5. Defeat in the fighting was to:

A) The loss of manpower and equipment of the Roman army

B) The demographic crisis and economic phenomenon

II. Economic bloc

1. The decline of the main base of the empire’s economy – the average tenure:

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1.1. Profitable farming in small villas

1.2. Division of the large estates into the small plots and sending them out either free or slaves. Relationships that were:

A) The occurrence of natural forms of economy on the large areas, and within the emerging farmers in rural communities

B) The decline of cities and urban ruin farmers

C) A loss of connection between the individual provinces

2. The formation of the split ownership of the new type, which in the future will develop into the various forms of feudal property.

3. Heavy tax burden. It was unfair since the poor rural areas suffered of it most

4. Forced encouragement of the citizens for the various services

5. The high cost of transporting goods, stagnant production and aside land as a result of attacks by the foreign invaders:

A) Deterioration in the situation of the population, the destruction of farms

B) Tax evasion

C) The emergence of protest population

D) Appeal for protection to the military command or local landlords, who assumed the responsibility to conduct all business people with the imperial tax collectors for a fee. They began with the formation of land.

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E) The emergence of a band of robbers and thieves because of the inability to earn in honest way

6. Galloping inflation

7. Naturalization economy with a sharp social stratification

8. The destruction of the monetary system

III. Domestic and foreign political crisis:

A) Frequent changes of emperors who ruled for a few years, if not months, and many of them were not native Romans caused by too much of an exemption from service, putting in more privileged social groups are those that are quite easily achieved this.

B) Other states have experienced falling real income, and therefore, they have increased motivation to occupy and conquer their rich neighbors. As a result of booming economies they were faced with rising costs at the mercy of the invaders, or the increased cost of the army. The growth of population and diminishing returns in agriculture, which led to the politico-administrative units, usually to a variety of efforts, the internal political structure faced with increasing voltage.

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The fall of the Roman Empire was driven by certain economic, political, and social reasons. However, first of all, due to the crisis that began in the spiritual sphere and its first symptom appeared in III century AD, when the ideal of Harmonious Development of Man collapsed polis religion and ideology, which embodied the real world of ancient man, after the fall of the Republic and the establishment of an actual monarchy. On the other hand, the extinction of urban culture went on. Estate secured disappeared citizens, vital for the urban unit. In urban decline, manufacture and trade came, the size of policies reduced as evidenced by the archaeological evidence. 



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