Themes in ap world History


The Decline of Classical Civilizations



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11. The Decline of Classical Civilizations

You will need to know and be able to compare circumstances surrounding the fall of classical civilizations (Rome, Han China, and Gupta India)




Classical Civilization

Specific causes for fall

Shared characteristics

Han China




    • start of decline: 100 CE

    • decline of interest in Confucianism and stress on education

    • social unrest

    • pressure from neighboring tribes



Shared Characteristics



    • weak emperors, deflection of power to military leaders

    • decline in trade

    • taxes overburden peasants

    • population decline/epidemic diseases

    • bad harvests

    • poverty gap, especially with regards to land ownership

    • decline in morality



Rome


Rome

    • collapse of traditional values among the elite

    • dependence on slave labor

    • use of non-Romans in the army

    • inability to effectively rule large empire

    • cessation of inflow of resources due to cessation of wars of conquest

Gupta India



    • regional leaders gained more power at the expense of the power of the Gupta rulers

    • traditional values persisted





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