Fall of Roman Empire
One of the major events of the Western society is a fall of Roman Empire, which ruled the lands of the Mediterranean and Europe. Decline of the Roman Empire began with the West. In the period from 400 to 430 AD, numerous tribes of barbarians invaded the borders of the Empire and stopped in France, North Africa, and Spain. They were gradually replacing Romans from the authority. The western part of the empire, including such territories as Italy, France, Spain, and North Africa, became independent from the Romans. German kings started to rule on these lands (Heather). There were many reasons why so strong and stable state collapsed on the peak of its prosperity. The Roman Empire ended its existence due to the absence of an efficient army, weak leadership of the troops, reluctance of landowners to give their workers for military service, decrease in the authority of the imperial power, and many other reasons.
The beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire began in the third century. There were profound changes in the political, economic, and cultural life. Political anarchy, which was associated with the constant changes of emperors, and authority in different parts of the state together with the invasion of Germanic tribes led to the destabilization of the whole empire. Barbarians were constantly penetrating the borders. Emperors did not have enough time, energy, and resources to drive them from the provinces. The economy of the Roman Empire was developing unevenly for a long period of time. Western areas were economically less developed than the eastern ones, which had considerable labor, commercial, and industrial resources. Thus, there was formed an unfavorable balance of trade. The strong Roman Empire allowed barbarian tribes to devastate province by province. The oppressed slaves, columns, and ruined peasants warmly sympathized to barbarians. They rebelled all over the state against their oppressors who were big landowners and government authorities (Gibbon).
The weak and insignificant people sat on the imperial throne. They were emperors who did not represent the real power in the state. The true power was actually transferred to the military commanders. These commanders were mostly not the Romans but barbarians who were located in the Roman military service. Soldiers were also recruited from barbarians. Progressive introduction of the barbarians into the army forces increasingly destroyed the line between those who defended the empire and those who attacked it. There were mutual feeling of hostility of the army and the civilian population. The inability of the rulers to control the actions of their commanders led to the loss of combat effectiveness of the army, weak leadership troops, and depressant treatment of soldiers. Ordinary Romans did not have the patriotic desire to fight for the salvation of the Roman Empire (Gibbon). The landowners did not want to sacrifice their workers to army. The situation with military forces undermined the economy and status of the population in the whole Empire. The farming became unfavorable. There was uneven distribution of taxes, high cost of transporting goods, destruction of the monetary system, and so on. There was a formation of the split ownership of a new type, which would develop into various forms of feudal property in the future.
Roman aristocrats were thinking only about their wealth and pleasure. They did not want to see that the enemies had made a strong pleasure on the empire. They could not understand that barbarian troops were at that time the only military defense of the empire. The imperial court had become a place of endless denunciations of intrigue, conspiracy, and murder. After the death of Emperor Theodosius, the Empire was divided between the young sons of Theodosius on the East and West parts (Markel). There was a new threat for the Roman Empire at this time. The warlike tribes of Goths, who lived in the eastern part of the empire, began the military actions. Eventually, the Roman army won, but the power of Roman army strongly undermined. Barbarians troops used this opportunity and became constantly attack the provinces of Roman Empire. They were constantly replenished by slaves and people who hated the Roman policy. The alliance of the provincial and barbaric nobility was becoming stronger and stronger. After several decades, the barbarian troops brutally suppressed the revolt of the peasants and others who recently helped them to master the Roman lands. The emperors of the Western Empire were constantly losing their provinces. They became completely dependent on their mercenary troops and commanders. One of them deprived the last emperor of the throne. This happened in 476 AD. e. This event is considered to be the end of the Western Roman Empire (Cooper).
The decline of Roman Empire happened due to economic, political, and social reasons. However, first of all, the crisis began in the spiritual sphere. The first of its symptoms did not occur in fourthor fifth centuries. It happened much earlier, when the ideal of the harmoniously developed person and the establishment of an actual monarchy were lost. The real crisis originated from the era of Augustus, when the Roman state reached the height of its power and began a gradual decline. The Roman Empire lost its spiritual basis. The giant and slave owning Roman Empire, which lasted for twelve hundred years, collapsed as a result of slave revolts and the invasion of barbarian tribes.