The Fall of Rome: An Exercise in Research, Historical Analysis, and Current Events

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The Fall of Rome:
An Exercise in Research, Historical Analysis, and Current Events
Your challenge is to gather detailed information on the variety of causes for the fall of the Roman Empire. You will have one week of structured class time to work with a group of four to complete this assignment which is due at the start of class on September 15th

Part I. Research
Step One: I will give you a quick overview of the reasons for Rome’s fall. While doing this, you will want to copy down the outline of topics and main ideas for the fall of Rome.
Step Two: Read pages 169-174 in Late Roman Civilization. Record any details that help explain the main ideas in your Fall of Rome outline
Step Three: Read the handout, “8 Reasons for the Fall of Rome.” Add any new details to your Fall of Rome outline.
Now you should have a complete and detailed outline of information as to what contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Step Four: Research current events to compare to the main ideas for the fall of Rome.

Historical Analysis and Connection: You will put together a side by side comparison of how Rome fell to what is going on in our society. The finished product will be in a word document (like the example below).

  • Pick a topic from your Fall of Rome Outline. Make sure that each person in your group is picking a topic from one of the different reasons why Rome fell. In other words, someone needs to pick from social reasons, someone from government reasons, someone from military reasons, and someone from economic reasons.

  • Your thesis question is

Based on what happened to Rome, is the United States falling or not?

  • You have to show a reason that Rome fell, and then argue whether or not the same thing is happening to us. Your whole group must argue that the US is currently falling or not.



Immigration brought down the Roman Empire, but it is not bringing down the US

One reason for the fall of Rome was due to the migration of German people into the Empire. Tribes like the Visigoths wanted to enter the Empire to escape from violence in their own homeland and for opportunities in the empire like land and serving in the army. However, when the Roman officials starved the Visigoths the Visigoths turned their swords on the Romans and sacked the city of Rome, killing thousands of Romans.

Today, the United States has an issue with illegal immigration. It is estimated that almost 12 million people, mostly from Mexico and other parts of Latin and Central America are immigrating into the United States. Most of these immigrants are coming to the United States for job opportunities.

Both Rome and the US have issues with immigration, but they do not create the same problem. Immigrants like the Goths turned violent and attacked the Romans because the Romans were corrupt. Immigrants in the US are not currently armed and violent. If we find a way to deal with them humanely, there is no reason that they would attack the United States like the Goths did the Romans.




Needs Improvement


Thesis Statement

(4 points)

Clearly and concisely states

the purpose in a single

sentence, which is engaging,

and thought provoking.

Clearly states the purpose in a single sentence.

States the purpose in a single sentence.

Incomplete and or unfocused

Visual Representation

(4 points)

Includes two images that are easily identified as representing the main idea

Includes two images representing the main idea, but the connection between the images and content is not easily identified

Includes one image and the connection is not easily identified

No images are included


Historical Analysis & Current Event

(20 points)

Covers topic in-depth

with details and

examples. Subject

knowledge is excellent

Includes essential

knowledge about the

topic. Subject

knowledge appears good

Includes essential

information about the

topic, but there may be some factual errors

Content is minimal, OR

there are many

factual errors.


(4 points)

Restates the thesis and compares the content

Restates the thesis but lacks a clear comparison between the content

Restates the thesis

Does not address the thesis

This Rubric applies to each topic. You are responsible for the topic you complete within the group.

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