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Collapse of roman empire and its consequences essay sample

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Introduction

Rome Empire is the period when Rome was ruled by emperors, beginning with Augustus as emperor (Gibbon, Bury & Piranesi, 2012). By the third century A.D, the emperor experienced many challenges both from within and outside the territory, leading to its collapse (Nardo, 2012). This paper addresses major social, political, economic and cultural changes resulting from fall of the Rome Empire. The most notable changes included constant invasions and warfare; communication and transportation disruption; cities abandoned into political and economic centres; and most population became rural, and feudalism develops.

Political Consequences

As Roman Empire collapse, the Romans removed their army from Britainfor home defense, and in 410 they completely left, leaving Britons to defend themselves. Many groups mainly from the East and the North invaded previous Roman lands and created their states. The leaders of these territories, mainly powerful warlords, started to term themselves Kings. More often than not, these Kings fought each other and thus, by 500s Europe became divided into several small kingdoms. In 401 on a raid, 16 year old youth, Patricius, was captured. For seven years, Patricius herded sheep, before escaping, for a chieftain.
When Rome collapsed, the territories under its rule were left without government, and citizens had to find out how to defend themselves. This became tragic and huge change for the affected people. They had relied on defense from the Roman Empire and law. They were barred from training how to battle or fight. After being abandoned by Roman army, they were invaded by barbaric who attacked from all directions. Majority had their homes pillaged, and women raped (Gibbon & Mueller, 2008).

Economic Consequences

The Northwestern European and Mediterranean, whose economies depended on Rome economy, collapsed in stages due to fall of Roman Empire (Nardo, 2012). The provinces of Northern frontier went first by around 500; the economy of Western Mediterranean was next in 500s, and lastly the Aegean region after 600. The Northern frontier was the lately civilized area of the Roman Empire, with few cities compared to other regions in Mediterranean. The two principal factors, which wrecked the economy of Northern frontier, included: Great the impact of war and demolition due to Germanic invasion by the fact that it was in frontier. Its economy relied on imperial administration for cash to compensate the legions. As a result, due to fall of the Empire, the government was not able to compensate its military, hence undercutting the entire regional economy and its capacity to protect the Empire, further ruining the economy (Gibbon & Mueller, 2008).
After the collapse of Western Empire, the Mediterranean’s economy went into decline. According to Jones (2009), there are three factors, which brought this to happen. Firstly, there was no imperial government responsible for protecting trade and maintaining roads. In addition, the resources and markets Mediterranean economy relied on were destroyed. So were imperial revenues, which supported the economy, secondly, money based business had decreased. Invasions by Avars and Slavs in the Balkans and Persians by late 500s, followed by Arab Muslims invasion in Eastern provinces as well as outbreaks of plague altogether lead to the precipitous decline of Aegean economy. Thirdly, loss of markets and trade within the Western Mediterranean, loss of revenue and taxes from Syria, Egypt and Palestine when they became under control by Arabs caused the decline in the economy. As a result, most cities in the Asia Minor and Balkans either shrank in size or disappeared.

Social Consequences

When the infrastructure of Rome collapsed, so was quality of living conditions for the majority of people (Gibbon, Bury & Piranesi, 2012). Thereafter, Dark ages followed which can be categorized into two distinct eras or periods. The first period continued up to 700 A.D. due to destruction of infrastructure and trade. After a short revival, the second declined occurred about 1000 A.D. because of invasion by Magyars and Vikings from Hungary and Scandinavia respectively. Particularly, the stability provided by Rome went and most new states had to develop autonomously.
Learning declined due to fall of Roman Empire (Nardo, 2012). Literature changed in scopes from lay or secular to spiritual orientation, and theological works were not new. With the emergence of Dark ages, Kings introduced law codes, which were similar to Roman law codes, and they kept on using local Roman aristocrats for the management of their states (Gibbon & Mueller, 2008). Interaction and learning declined, with most Monasteries as the main information keepers, except within Italy where pattern of theological direction continued, and public learning institutions remained opened.

Cultural Consequences

After the collapse of Roman Empire, travelling became dangerous activity, especially at night (Jones, 2009). Progressively many persons fell into prolonged duration of ignorance and superstition, in which they started imagining that monsters and dragons lay in towns and would kill anybody travelling during the night. The coincidence of disappearance for those who travel at night reinforced this ignorance and superstition.
The barbarian created kingdoms within former provinces of Rome. As persons grouped in villages near fortified castles for protection, federal system emerged. With the intrusion of Christian missionaries, barbarians were converted to Christians and constructed cathedrals within the old ethnic capitals. This led Greco-Roman civilization or culture and Latin language changed into ordinary Romance, which later broke into current Romance languages.
In summary, despite its fall, the Roman kingdom ought to have left philosophers, knowledgeable people and scientists to maintain western culture. The effects social, economic, political and cultural changes due to collapse of Roman Empire hold a warning lesson for people today.

References

Gibbon, E., & Mueller, H. (2008). The decline and fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Modern Library.
Gibbon, E., Bury, J. B., & Piranesi, G. B. (2012). The history of the decline & fall of the Roman empire. New York: Heritage Press.
Jones, R. F. (2009). A false start? The roman urbanization of Western Europe. World Archaeology, 5(1), 10-15.
Nardo, D. (2012). The Roman empire. San Diego, CA: Kidhaven Press.

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