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DBQ:The Fall of Rome

Rome, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever eventually fell. Thousands of years

ago, one of the greatest civilizations to ever live was in modern day Italy. Between the years 20

AD and 300 AD the empire was thriving. They were productive and growing everyday. But

after the year 300, it all went down hill. Imagine the world's biggest statue ever begin to fall

apart over many years. Essentially this is what happened to Rome. There were many reasons

why this happened. There were three significant reasons for the fall of Rome which include a

weakening military, foreign invaders, and the most important of the three, natural disasters.

One important reason that Rome fell was there weakening military. Evidence that this

was a problem is when in document B it states ...customary armor began to seem heavy since

the soldiers rarely ever wore it. This is saying that the soldiers began to stop wearing armor,

weakening them and allowing open spots for enemies to hit. Michael Grant in his book, The Fall

of the Roman Empire: a Reappraisal states that ...failure...to enforce regular conscription.

That is saying that regular conscription (the draft of soldiers) began to fade away as many

groups were exempted. This is a contributor to the fall of Rome because without constant and

plentiful soldiers, defending the huge empire was difficult. On top of that, the soldiers that were

drafted were weak an untrained, and were very vulnerable to getting hit in fatal spots by

enemies.

The second important reason that Rome fell was constant invaders. Evidence that this

was a problem is in document C, the map is showing us that for about 60 years, foreigners were

constantly moving in on Roman land. They were coming from every direction, which is like

being bombarded. It also states in document E that a man claimed ...his new life...better than

his old life among the Romans. He was conquered by the Huns and was happy with it. These
problems contributed to Rome's fall because if people were constantly attacking the weak and

few Roman soldiers, there is a small chance of them beating the invaders. It also doesnt help if

civilians are helping the invaders fight the Romans because living with invaders is more fair and

peaceful then if they lived with Romans.

While the first two reasons are important, the primary reason that Rome fell was natural

disasters. Evidence that this was a serious problem is in document F in the second source it

says The population decreased from a million people to 250,000. The cause of all that

death was a plague. That one plague killed nearly 75% of the empire. In document F in the first

source it also says that ...Fifty thousand persons had lost their lives which was because of

an earthquake. Both of these events caused crazy huge amounts of deaths, and the

earthquakes and tsunamis destroyed lots of buildings. This was the most important factor in

Romes fall because they were the cause of tons of deaths in very little time. That weakened

their army even more and destroyed lots of buildings. Now with over 75% of the empire dead,

lots of needed farmers and soldiers are gone. Without lots of both, their will be little food and

soldiers are going to be fighting in very small groups. These are both major problems. With this

problem, the empire began to crumble and crumble until it was gone.

It is true that there are other reasons that explain Romes decline. These include

political instability, over expansion, loss of values and many more. However, the three reasons

presented above- a weakening military, foreign invaders, and especially natural disasters-

provide the best explanation why Rome finally crumbled in the 5th century AD.