~Roman Empire ~
Historians remember the Roman Empire today because it was one of the most comprehensive social and political structures that existed in western civilization in its time. This empire was established by Augustus Caesar when he announced himself the first Roman emperor in 31BC and declined in 1453CE due to the fall of Constantinople. The heirs of Augustus, that is, Tiberius, Caligula Claudius as well as Nero succeeded him between the 14th and 68th year Holland, (2017). After the death of Emperor Nero in the 6th year, a war broke, where three emperors fought for the position of emperor. Vespasian won the war, breaking the dynastic succession of this empire. Over the years, the Roman Empire became weak due to constant attacks and eventually declined. This paper focuses on the factors that led to the rise as well as the collapsing of this great empire.
Factors that Contributed to the Growth of the Roman Empire
This empire advanced its capacity at the initial stages by seeking to control the Mediterranean Sea. Having control of the sea earned this empire both economic and military advantages. The naval power played a great role in fighting the empire enemies and ensuring that the empire was well secured. The Roman army was the first profession in the world paid on a full-time basis. This military force was key to the success of this empire because it conquered many countries expanding the empire. The countries conquered include France, Spain, Wales, Germany, some parts of Greece and the Middle East as well as some parts of northern Africa. The three factors that led to a successful army include the invention of new army tactics, comprehensive training, and rapid learning ways.
Another key reason why this empire was a successful entity was the Romans’ ability to organize the empire. It was only through a good order and organization that the Romans could rule over the vast territories. The communication during this period was passed through messages that either ran on foot or on horses. The Romans benefited from this organization, which enabled them to expand as far as they expanded in terms of territories. The rulers were also able to ensure a smooth movement of resources around the territories.
The Romans were also able to assimilate or Romanize the native people. Once the Romans attacked a city and defeated it, the citizens of that city were forced to be slaves and moved out of their land. These people were however made citizens of the empire. The conquered people could, therefore, enjoy such things as buildings, public toilets, bathhouses among other things. The Romans also used technology to make their people happy and want to be associated with the empire. The people were also given great trading opportunities which made them even happier.
Furthermore, the Roman Empire took advantage of technological advancement. Rome was very good at making iron weapons while the other states such as Greek were using bronze to make weapons. The Romans made these iron weapons in a design that was unheard of by the other states. This gave the Romans an advantage over the others during attacks. Instead of the Hellenic phalanx, the Romans had been organized in triangles and squares containing columns and rows which made them more flexible. The Romans used this tactic, for instance, to defeat Hannibal. These reasons among others all contributed to the growth of this empire.
Factors for the Collapsing of the Roman Empire
According to Andrews (2014), among the factors that contributed to the decline of this empire is the constant invasions by the Barbarian tribes. Though the Romans had been constantly fighting Germanic tribes, the barbarian tribes such as Goths had started to encroach beyond the boundaries by the 300s. The Romans withstood the Germanic revolution towards the end of the fourth century. However, in the 410, the Rome city was sacked by Visigoth king Alaric. The Vandals later attacked and raided the eternal city in 455. Finally, Emperor Romulus Augustulus was overthrown from power by a Germanic leader in 476, which made the empire weak and eventually collapsed.
Nonetheless, despite the constant attacks by the enemies and rivals, the empire was also disintegrating from within due to economic hardships and overdependence on slave labor. There were severe wars and an economy characterized by inflation, oppressive taxation, which heightened the gap between the haves and have nots according to Marsh (2016). Another thing that affected the economy is the decline in the supply of labor. By the 2nd century, the supply of slaves, as well as other resources, had started to decline. The attacks also disrupted the trading activities making the empire lose its influence in Europe.
The Roman Empire was so successful in expanding its territories. They had a vast territory running from as far as the Atlantic Ocean, spreading to Middle East’s rive Euphrates. This expansion in some ways furthered the collapsing of the empire Andrews, (2014). It was hard for this empire to effectively govern the large area due to communication barriers, which translated to poor management. This also required a lot of funds which the empire was unable to keep up with. Other factors included political instability caused by government corruption, loss of cultural value and traditions to Christianity and weakening legions among others.
In conclusion, the Roman Empire grew and expanded as a result of factors such as good military organization, the technology and the cart of iron weapons, the ability to Romanize and assimilates their captives as well as the economic power among others. On the other hand, constant attacks, inability to manage the vast territories, economic hardships and corrupt government corruption are some of the reasons why the Roman empire did not last.
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