In 476 AD the vast empire of the Romans disintegrated from the inside out slowly coming crashing down down around its citizens ears. The saying is that Rome was not built in a day but it also neither did it fall in a day “The fall was gradual, and came both from without and from within”(Marshall,2). Rome fell because of a culmination of reasons, the attack of Barbarians, the corruption of the government and economic troubles. One of the main contributions to Rome’s demise was the corruption of the the government. In seventy five years rome burned through twenty emperors(Andrews, 5). The emperors were assassinated and killed by their successors who were men who wanted power of the empire and army the came with the position.
The Praetorian Guard eventually became powerful enough that they were able to control which Roman emperor came next. Many emperors such as Commodus, Elagabalus and Nero contributed to the depravity and corruption by how they ruled. Nero for example used Christians to light his palace which may have given the people and example for how they could treat the Christians. Commodus handed over the rule of his empire to his favorite subjects and went so far as to become a gladiator. “The meanest of the populace were affected with shame and indignation when they beheld their sovereign enter the lists as a gladiator, and glory in a profession which the laws and manners of the Romans had branded with the justest note of infamy.”(Gibbon, IV). Secondly Rome fell due to economic issues within the government and the people. Since the Roman empire was so big it required many troops to keep it in order.
This meant tons of money had to be poured into supplying the army as well as keeping the roads up and maintaining the cities. Emperors like Commodus who lived extravagantly sorely hurt the empire by the sheer scale of the games and parties they threw. In addition inflation caused the coins to only be worth how ever much silver or gold was actually inside them. (Gill, Economic Reasons for the Fall of Rome).
Due to the loss of money Rome looked to other means of acquiring money such as raising the taxes on their citizens. This caused many people to either move and create their own little kingdom to get away from the taxes or to sell themselves into slavery so they didn’t have to pay the taxes.