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Setting up for the great fall

Posted: November 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

The following quotation is taken from page 127 of “The Western Heritage” (1999).

“But problems developed as the (Roman Empire) government assumed numerous responsibilities that promoted the growth of a large, expensive bureaucracy.

“The costs of government also grew as pressure on the frontiers from barbarian tribes forced Rome to maintain a large standing army.

“Higher taxes and bureaucratic control combined to stifle civic spirit and private enterprise.

“Rome’s rulers resorted to many devices for dealing with their problems. “More and more, the emperors’ rule and their safety depended upon the loyalty of the army.

“When they courted the soldiers with gifts, the burden of taxes increased. “The rich and the powerful succeeded in avoiding many of their obligations, but this forced the government to bear down even more heavily on vulnerable ordinary people.

“Ultimately even, extreme measures failed, and the Roman Empire fell. “Something of its culture survived, however, to lay a foundation for the modern West.”

When will we ever learn to listen to history?

 

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