The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Essays

790 Words Dec 15th, 2015 4 Pages
The decline and subsequent fall of the Roman empire brings up a lot of questions. How could the Roman empire, one of the world’s most successful empires to this day, collapse? Some would argue that external factors were what led to the fall of Rome. For example, the invasion of the Huns, the germanic migrants flooding Rome’s borders, or the miniature ice-age that swept through the region, decimating crop yields. I, however, would argue that it was internal factors that led to the fall of the Roman Empire, like Rome’s failing tax system and economy, its lack of military defense, and government corruption, by making Rome weak and susceptible to attacks. After the Pax Romana, or Rome’s 200 year golden age, things quickly started to fall apart for the Roman empire, especially within the empire’s tax system. The imperial coffers had been drained by the military campaigns of Marcus Aurelius, and as a result of this, “finances were henceforth to be a problem that plagued all Roman leaders,” (Hadas, 142). As time passed, each successive Roman emperor was tasked with attempting to raise money for the empire’s empty reserves. Aurelius had made the conditions worse by devaluing the Roman currency by 25 percent, and by selling imperial treasures to gain additional revenue. The succeeding Roman emperor, Severus, devalued the Roman currency an additional 25 percent, and “raised old taxes and devised new ones,” (Hadas, 142). This increased taxation, which an empire that was built on…

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