Updated: Jun 17
About the Author
Hi! My name is Madelyn. I enjoy piano, jiu jitsu, reading, and school. I am 12 years old. My favorite animal is a dog, my favorite book is "The Ickabog" by J.K. Rowling, and my favorite subject is English.
3 Primary Reasons Why Rome Fell
by Madelyn P.
The Western Roman Empire fell because Rome split into two parts: the Western Empire and the Eastern Empire. According to History.com, Eastern and Western Rome argued over resources and military, “East and West failed to adequately work together to combat outside threats, and the two often squabbled over resources and military aid” (Andrews). To start, since the East and West separated, it was harder to work together. Teamwork helped fight enemies because cities had more people and more resources. The effects of difficult governing caused the East and West to part. Eventually, the two halves faded apart, resulting in financial issues for the Western Empire: “As the gulf widened, the largely Greek-speaking Eastern Empire grew in wealth while the Latin-speaking West descended into an economic crisis” (Andrews). Compounding this economic crisis, the Eastern Empire diverted barbarians to the Western Empire. Eventually, the Western Empire fell. While Western and Eastern Rome separating was already inconvenient, military overspending also played a primary role in the fall of Western Rome.
Another key reason why Western Rome fell is because of military overspending. According to Andrews, while the Romans had “excellent road systems,” they were “unable to communicate” well enough to “manage their holdings.” While the Roman Empire stretched farther, it was harder to communicate because they didn’t have technology and had to use horses and people. This meant it was harder to warn other parts of Rome about surprise attacks, which would lead to more of Rome falling. Additionally, Rome didn’t have adequate military forces or resources “to defend its frontiers from local rebellions and outside attacks” (Andrews). Since Rome couldn’t get enough people or resources for their military troops to defend themselves, there were many outside attacks from Barbarians and inside rebellions that were hard to fight against. Overall, the vast expansion to Rome did more harm than good, and government corruption exacerbated this situation when citizens moved and stopped paying taxes.
Compounding all this, government corruption weakened Western Rome fatally. Civil War arose around Rome and “thrust the empire into chaos” (Andrews). In only 75 years, “more than 20 men took the throne” generally due to the last ruler’s death. During the Civil War, citizens acted chaotically and some executed their rulers because of a breakdown in trust with the institutions of Rome. For instance, this was shown in their most elite defenders: “The Praetorian Guard, the emperor’s personal bodyguards, assassinated and installed new sovereigns at will, and once even auctioned the spot off to the highest bidder” (Andrews). These guards, being able to execute and replace any ruler, made it so most rulers were unskilled and inexperienced people. The new rulers also may have been corrupt or unjust. In conclusion, government corruption, military overspending, and the two halves of Rome separating all led to the fatal fall of Western Rome.