The Decline Of The Western Roman Empire

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The Decline of Rome The most significant factors that contributed to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire were barbarian invasions due to a weakened military and a shrinking population that held resentment towards Rome. These problems converged and created a domino effect that eventually toppled the dignified Roman Empire. Rome had lost the essence of what made the Roman empire Roman. This included a disciplined and driven military made of confident soldiers who believed in the power of Rome. This army protected and expanded Rome’s borders which was exemplified by the rule of Trajan (98-117). When the strength of the military, a defining characteristic of Rome, deteriorated, many other pieces that held together the empire started to crumble …show more content…
For an army to succeed, it needs strong motivation or something to fight for, but the Roman army had lost its incentive to keep striving for victories. The armies’ customary armor, helmets and chest plates, started to seem excessive because the soldiers never wore it, even to the point where they didn’t wear it to their battle with the Goths and ended up being beaten. (Document B) On top of not having enough manpower, the military got careless and lazy enough to not wear their armor to battle. This illustrated much about the change in the Romans’ mindset at the time, showing that the Romans had gotten hubristic. Because they had been at the top for so long they forgot their fight for glory, especially because a lot of their power was based in a strong military. This signaled for the end of the remarkable power that the Roman empire had because it lost its roots: the ambition to be the greatest. As stated in the source, this directly affected Rome’s success in fighting battles and they were bested by barbarians as a result. An easily exposed army was an invitation for more barbarians to come and exploit Rome, therefore putting pressure on its borders. Additionally, Romans could avoid being drafted into the army, so the empire had to pay for disloyal Germanic mercenaries to increase the size of its military. This also drained the economy that was already going downhill. (Document H) A weak economy could no longer sustain the vast Roman empire with a smaller population making less money. In addition, the treasury of Rome was drained by having to pay Germanic mercenaries to protect the vast borders. The mercenaries were also not loyal to Rome - they were loyal to those who simply paid the most, meaning that Rome had to keep offering more and more money that they didn’t have to win the loyalty that they couldn’t earn from

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