What caused the fall of the Western Roman Empire?
The fall of the Western Roman Empire is a very extensive topic because there were a multitude of continuous events that led to the demise of one of the world’s most legendary empires. Although there are many theories to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire the main cause was the internal corruption of the Empire and then the closely followed invasions on an internally weakened society.
Through out the years historians have been examining every detail about the Western Roman Empire and most come to the conclusion that many things led to the decline and decay of the grand empire. One of the many things was that being in the political spotlight was very risky and often times political figures and emperors met their death because of bands of people who didn’t like what they were doing. An additional thing that fueled the decay of the empire was the epidemics. Diseases like the plague would wipe out mass populations of people. Equally important was that the Western Roman Empire was of such colossal size that it had a hard time connecting its people. Along with having such an expansive Empire came the issue of excluding people in political matters (document 1).
An additional issue that aided the demise was the economic factors, not all historians believed that all the factors were just morally and culturally based. Slavery is one the biggest economic factors that “shot the empire in the foot”. Slavery is what kept the rich from the poor. The rich that established latifundia (gigantic profitable estates) got richer and the peasant farmers couldn’t stay with the competition and either had to join up as a sharecropper or move to the city, which added to the unemployment (Document 3) (by peasants moving to the city the cities get increasingly crowded and epidemics spring up more often). An additional aspect that guided the Western Roman Empire to its grave was its army. The Roman Empires army turned into German mercenaries (Document 5). The mercenaries cost a lot of money because they had to guard the Empires vast boarders. The money that was being spent for mercenaries had to be funded so taxes were raised (document 4).
With the Roman Empire in a stage of despair barbaric tribes took advantage and started to invade the once colossal empire (Document 6). The clans ravaged across the fallen empire fighting each other for territory.
The cumulative effect of all these events was the fall of one of the most notable empires this world has ever seen, the Western Roman Empire.