Causes For The Fall of the Roman Empire

Causes For The Fall of the Roman Empire

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What major events led to the eventual decline and fall of the Roman Empire?

Categorized between internal and external factors with broad reasoning, doesn’t lend itself to just a few events as the cause for the actual fall.
From the internal factors: socio-economic problems and political corruption with the emperors and senate with their selfish, indulgence lifestyles with gladiator games being a major expense from the coffers, moral decline impacted the richest Romans with immorality, various outlandish sexual behaviors, gambling on most any activities and public lewd/sexual acts in the Colosseum. Education became only for the rich and usually only males. The basic standards of ethics and values were lost with total disregard of human and animal life, cheap slave labor lead to major unemployment for the working class plebeians that stressed the continued divide from the rich patricians.
From the external factors: Constant wars and heavy military spending, the great Roman army was excessively expensive, over-stretched trying to keep the experienced warriors, recruiting more and more soldiers then turning to hiring mercenaries and barbarians. With the adding of more soldiers from conquered lands, those barbarians became more like Romans after a short time and less able to fight other barbarians from other countries as a result. With the army stretched thin at all the borders, when an issue grew it could become overwhelming quickly as with the Visogoths, once they were allowed to settle on the south side of the Danube, poverty living conditions and starvation led them to attack, then move to sack the city of Rome. Then there were the natural disasters such as famine, earthquakes and plagues. With influx of barbarians and many newcomers from over-run countries, the manifestation of serious sickness, transferring of plagues and lack of consistent medical care perpetuated all natural disasters many times over.

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