Causes for the Fall of the Roman EmpireSubmitted by NewtLobbyrich on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 13:12
Failing Economy and High Inflation -- The Government was constantly threatened by bankruptcy due to the cost of defending the Empire, the failing economics, heavy taxation and high inflation... Roman currency was devalued to such an extent that a system of bartering returned to one of the greatest civilizations the world had ever known.
Unemployment of the Working Classes -- Cheap slave labor resulted in the unemployment of the Plebs in Rome who became dependent on hand-outs from the state. The Romans attempted a policy of unrestricted trade but this led to the Plebs being unable to compete with foreign trade. The government were therefore forced to subsidize the working class Romans to make up the differences in prices. This resulted in thousands of Romans choosing just to live on the subsides sacrificing their standard of living with an idle life of ease. The massive divide between the rich Romans and the poor Romans increased still further.
Constant Wars and Heavy Military Spending -- Constant warfare required heavy military spending. The Roman army became over-stretched and needed more and more soldiers.
Fast Expansion of the Empire -- The rapid growth in the lands conquered by the Empire led to the need to defend the borders and territories of Rome. The people of the conquered lands, most of whom were referred to as Barbarians, hated the Romans.
Political Corruption -- At one point [a] Praetorian Guard sold at auction the throne of the world to the highest bidder.
Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor -- The Roman Emperor had the legal power to rule Rome’s religious, civil and military affairs with the Senate acting as an advisory body.
Slave Labor -- The Roman's dependency on slave labor led not only to the decline in morals, values and ethics but also to the stagnation of any new technology to produce goods more efficiently. Romans could rely on the slave manpower for all their needs but this reliance inhibited technological change and growth.
Decline in Morals, Ethics, and Values -- The basic principles, standards and judgments about what was valuable or important in life declined.