Hist 115 Term Paper

739 words - 3 pages

The decline of classical civilizations can be attributed to numerous factors such as internal conflicts, decreased size of armies, revolts, corruption, population decreases, declining tax revenues, economic decline, climate change, and external invasions. However, the one important factor that was instrumental in the decline and collapse was epidemic diseases which may have killed up to half of the population.
The spread of epidemic diseases in the Roman Empire resulted in a shrinking population which had an adverse effect on trade, army recruiting, tax revenue, political instability, and a shift in religious values. The importing and exporting of goods, animals and people along the ...view middle of the document...

He assigned co-emperors to manage the districts and his efforts improved administration, tax collecting, unification of the army, and increased controls on the economy. In 324 C.E., Constantine established a new capital city called Constantinople and adopted Christianity as the state religion to try and help unify the empire. His efforts allowed the eastern half of the empire to recover but the western half weakened due to migration of Germanic nomads.
Ultimately the Roman Empire fell because it became too large and its inability to maintain a large enough army to protect its long borders allowed nomadic invasions from the East and West and the eventual fall of the empire.
Han China, too, faced struggles that would eventually depose imperial rule. Epidemic disease came later to China than to Rome but still had the same negative impact on classical Chinese society. Though also invaded by Hun tribes, a more influential cause of the decline of Han China came from corruption in the government which impacted all Chinese citizens. As emperors became weak in will and power, military generals drew more power. Over taxed peasants grew angry with taxes unpaid by corrupted officials, and in 184 C.E., a group known as the Yellow Turban rebellion confronted Han. China also encountered widespread diseases they had never seen before. The severe population loss due to these outbreaks caused...

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