This activity is one in a series of interactive notebook lessons on ancient Rome.
Students will use this foldable to analyze the various things that led to the fall of Rome. Concepts and ideas covered in this activity could include but are not limited to:
*Political Problems: Leaders fighting each other for power and government is weakened. Fewer Romans honored the old ideals of duty, courage, and honesty. Government officials took bribes. Talented people refused to serve in government, so officials were corrupt.
*Social Problems: Fewer people attended school. A large number of people became enslaved due to debt. Wealthy Romans supported slavery because it was a cheap way to get work done. As government weakened, law and order broke down. Roman soldiers and invaders seized crops and destroyed fields. Farmers grew less food and hunger began to spread. A plague swept Rome and killed one out of every ten people.
*Economic Problems: With all the chaos in Rome, wealthy citizens stopped paying taxes. As the economy worsened, people bought fewer goods. Artisans produced less, and shopkeepers lost money. Businesses closed and workers had to leave to serve in the army. Romans could not afford to defend its territories and had to find a way to pay its soldiers and officials They started putting less gold in its coins to make more of them. This led to inflation since now the money was not worth as much. Many people stopped using money altogether and get back to a barter system.
*Constantine and Constantinople: To help the economy, Constantine issued several orders. The sons of workers had to follow their father’s trades, the sons of farmers had to work the land of their fathers, and the sons of soldiers had to serve in the army. Constantine also moved the capital from the dying Rome in the west to a new city in the east and called it Constantinople. Today, it is called Istanbul. This new city became the center of the Byzantine Empire, which flourished in trade, culture, and art, education architecture, and Christianity.
*Invasions of Germanic Tribes: Rome could no longer afford to pay its soldiers so they were not well defended against invaders and surrounding enemies. Germanic tribes from the forests and marshes of northern Europe raided Roman farms and towns. Many different groups existed—Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Angles, and Saxons. They were in search of warmer climates and better grazing land for their cattle. They were also drawn by Rome’s wealth and culture.
*The Birth of Christianity: Constantine officially changed the Roman religion to Christianity after he saw a flaming cross before going into battle. The next day his army was victorious and he believed that the cross was a call to the Christian God. Constantine united his new Byzantine Empire by making the newly growing Christian faith the official religion of Rome.
Students will explain how each of these things influenced Rome and its decline. Then, they will illustrate each tab based on the information that they included.
This activity is one in a series of interactive notebook lessons on ancient Rome. It can be used as part of an interactive notebook or alone as an independent lesson for Rome. The last page of this product includes other sample pages from this series. If you are interested in this collection, please visit my store or use the links below.
The links below will direct you to these individual products:
Table of Contents, Rubric, and Grade Log
Ancient Rome Geography
Ancient Rome and Greece Geography Comparison
Ancient Rome Beginnings: Romulus and Remus and Aeneas Comic Strip
Ancient Rome Society: Patricians, Plebeians, and Legionnaire
Punic Wars Puzzle
Fall of the Republic Look Book
Ancient Rome Sticky Note Summaries
Fall of Rome Tab Table
Legacy of Rome: All Roads Lead to Rome
Byzantine Empire Star Summaries
Entire Unit Bundle:
Ancient Rome Bundle