Friday, October 28, 2011
SPQR Student Name_______________ Class_______ Date_______ Some of the Main Causes of the Fall of Rome Is the USA is starting to follow this path taken by the Roman Empire? Mark those that you feel the USA is already doing. Political: ____-Split the Empire into Eastern & Western Empires. ____ -Defensive/isolationist mentality. ____-No peaceful way to replace leaders. ____- Citizens became more concerned about their life style and luxuries than involved in the workings of their government. ____-Massive bureaucracy/government. ____-Failed to complete the conquest of major enemy (Germany in 9 and 181 CE) Economic: ____-Inflation caused by constant devaluation of money and rapidly rising prices. (price of a peck of wheat: 150 C.E.-½ denarii, 200 C.E.-100 denarii, 350 C.E.-10,000 denarii) ____-Heavy taxation to pay for the military and public infrastructure. ____-Lack of gold & silver specie. ____-Negative balance of trade. ____-Huge public welfare expenses. Social: ____-Rich controlled 90% of the wealth. ____-Middle class shrunk to virtual non-existence. ____-Huge uneducated poor class felt little support for the state. ____-Poor class reduced to surviving on public welfare. ____-Military and Civil Service Government became the number one employers. Military: ____-Hired non-citizens for the Army, German/barbarians eventually make up 80% of the army who were loyal to their generals not the state. ____-Barbarian invasions, 300+ years of constant pressure and war from ever larger barbarian tribes. ____-Expensive military, eventually over 50% of the governmental expenses. ____-Generals become the main contenders for the throne often taking their armies from the frontier defenses as they marched on Rome. ____-Quality and loyalty of soldiers declined. Environment: ____-Lead poisoning from water pipes & goblets/dishes etc. ____-Erosion due to over farming and deforestation. ____-Overcrowded cities. ____-Pandemic Plagues from the East.