The Roman Empire’s Fall in the West

Subject: History
Pages: 2
Words: 429
Reading time:
2 min

The fall of the Roman Empire in the West was a continuous process that started because of a set of political, economic, and social reasons resulting in the gradual decline of the state’s power and its disappearance from the map. Traditionally, historians consider the weakening of the army as one of the core causes. For centuries, Roman legions had been the most skilled and effective troops that were able to resist the pressure of the whole ancient world and guarantee victories in multiple battles. However, during its latest periods, the empire was not able to recruit soldiers from the Roman people, which was one of the guarantees of the army’s loyalty and strength. Instead, rulers started to hire foreign mercenaries, which resulted in the appearance of less effective legions consisting of Germans, Goths, and other barbarian tribes that were not interested in the preservation of traditional values of Rome and served for money. Being good warriors, they were not ready to protect the empire from its enemies; moreover, the majority of those barbarians who served as soldiers in legions later attacked the Western Empire and preconditioned its collapse.

Another reason for the fall of the West was the weakening of its economy. The latest periods of its history were characterized by a prolonged financial crisis that impacted all spheres of the state. Multiple wars and the need to support numerous armies along with the ineffective taxation policy undermined the economic power of Rome. Additionally, slaves were considered the main labor force as new conquers ensured a stable income of individuals who can be used to perform various jobs or activities. However, the end of expansion meant the absence of new lands with populations that can be enslaved. It resulted in the emergence of a labor deficit which also caused substantial harm to the economy. Suffering from multiple problems, the Roman financial sector was not able to support the further existence and development of the empire.

Finally, among other reasons, the rise and acceptance of Christianity can be considered one of the social factors that had a negative impact on the integrity of the empire. It replaced the traditional system of values and preconditioned the emergence of a significant gap between two parts of the state, which later became independent empires with their own problems and interests. Being not able to transform fast, Roman people experienced multiple hardships regarding the issues of power and faith which resulted in the disappearance of the ideological background for the existence of their country.