The fall of the Roman Empire - the result of relaxing success
The Roman state and society became the crown of the development of European civilization in antiquity. The Latins inherited many Greek achievements and created a unique army and culture, legal, social and state system for that time. The period when the Romans were the beacon of advanced achievements for the entire continent, lasted more than a thousand years. The fall of the Roman Empire plunged Europe into long centuries of forgotten heights, religious scholasticism and constant tribal strife.The continent had to re-live the barbarian centuries before a new leap in development.
Military-political reasons for the fall of the Western Roman Empire
The mightiest state of the ancient period of European history fell in the 5th century under the heightened onslaught of barbarian tribes. However, the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire are not limited to external aggression alone.For hundreds of years, the legions not only successfully opposed other nations, but also made them their vassals, attaching new lands to the possessions of their emperor.The fall of the Roman Empire was the result of its long decomposition. The crisis tendencies of its decline began to appear already in the III century. Thus, the constant increase in the territories of the state led to the need to recruit representatives of the conquered peoples into the army. The gradual barbarization of the troops led to the destruction of some fundamental differences between external enemies and defenders of the system. Moreover, the newly-minted Roman legionnaires were no longer fully their own, engaging in looting and terror of the local population. A particularly vivid expression of the military-political crisis was the frequent change of the so-called soldier emperors, who were promoted to troops on the Roman throne, but very quickly lost their power. This situation throughout most of the third century, of course, did not contribute to the strengthening of state power. In addition, the weakened central government could no longer effectively control the border administrations and paramilitary units.
In addition to the military decline and political crises, the fall of the Roman Empire was brought closer by socio-economic trends. The decline of average land ownership as the basis of the economic system led to the fragmentation of large land holdings into small areas, which led to the rupture of trade and economic relations between regions (and, consequently, to a slowdown in economic development in general). During the 3rd-5th centuries, the state tried to solve its growing problems at the expense of the masses, increasing tax oppression, forced civilian work, and military conscription.All this, of course, did not contribute to enhancing the prestige of the Roman government and its readiness to defend it on the imperial lands. The destruction of trade relations and high inflation led to the naturalization of agriculture. Increasing social stratification led to social tensions. The country was destroyed from within by the movement of colons and slaves. The fall of the Roman Empire was also caused by a deep spiritual crisis. The fact is that for the entire period of the existence of this state, a single cultural and political community has not formed within its borders.There was no formation of the people who would feel the need for the unity of the western and Roman provinces. All this led to universal social apathy in difficult times. For the first time Rome fell under the blows of the Visigoths in 410, and in 476, the last emperor Romulus Augustus under pressure from the German leader Odoacer was forced to relinquish power, thereby ending the centuries-old domination of the empire.