Example: dbq response Question: Why did the Roman Empire Fall? Intro

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Question: Why did the Roman Empire Fall?

The Roman Empire was the greatest empire of the ancient world. It stretched from what is today Great Britain to the Red Sea and across North Africa. Roman life and culture dominated Western Europe for centuries, as its armies swept across the Mediterranean world. Rome’s economic and military might was feared and respected throughout the empire, and few would dare to challenge them. That all changed however, between 350 – 500 AD Roman legions and Roman power was challenged from within and without. Eventually these challenges were too much for the Roman Empire and it collapsed from the pressure of Barbarian invasions, a corrupt political system, and a crumbling economy.

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P//(1) Without question one of the key reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire was the increasing pressure of Barbarian invasions threatening the Empire. Germanic tribes were being pushed further and further westward into the Roman Empire. These tribes were determined to access the wealth of the Roman Empire and they would capitalize on the growing weakness of the Roman military. The pressure put on the Roman Empire’s military was supported by the Roman General Tacitus, who stated that “Roman legions are besieged constantly by warlike tribes from the east, and the legions lack the discipline they once had” (document 2). The constant invasion of Barbarian tribes was too much for an Empire that had to defend such large amounts of territory. The size of the Roman Empire and the difficult terrain of the Empire, not to mention the large amount of time it took to travel from one place to another in the Empire, increased the difficulty of defense. For instance, it would take a Roman legion 3 months to travel from Rome to the German frontier, which could leave plenty of time for a Barbarian tribe to overrun defenses (document 4). The weakening military along with the large amount of territory to defend was one problem, but Rome’s corrupt political system made the situation worse.
P//2 Rome’s Empire was growing increasingly corrupt ads officials cared very little for the welfare of the Empire and more about increasing their own wealth and power.

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