The Roman Empire Example #2

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The Roman Empire expansion began in 437 BC. The expansion lasted for two centuries. During the whole duration of the expansion, defense was the key factor of the administration and military strategy at the beginning and towards the end of the existence of the empire. (Frank. F. Abbott ,1901) At the beginning, the Roman Empire’s expansion motive was to protect its citizens and wealth from enemy territories. With more expansion through winning of battles, the empire acquired the wealth and citizens of their enemies which would prove to be beneficial in subsequent wars due to additional military man power.

As the empire grew by conquering the Italian lands, the empire’s military and defense grew in might, power and capability, and through successful administration strategies, the empire’s defense was out of risk. The defense motive was then suppressed for short while at the height of the empire’s rule only to come back much later towards at the end of the empire’s existence.

This change in priority from the initial territorial expansion strategy was due to increased attacks against the empire and weakening territorial might and strength. The already conquered territories revolted strongly from ithin causing weak points within the empire. As a result of internal wars, the roman military stretched its defense ability and consequently was unable to effectively counter external attacks. (Donald R. Dudley, 1985) The conquered territories were however instrumental in fighting for the empire against external aggression. They provided man power and weapons of war which the roman empire administered effectively in its own defense. While expanding to the east, the Roman Empire initially took a defensive strategy in pursuing victory against the Greeks and Asia Minor. These two territories were treated s protectorates by the roman empire after the wars.

The defensive strategy in the east later changed to a more economically motivated expansion due to the vast wealth the east possessed. Therefore, defense was clearly a motive in the quest to expand the Roman Empire. This quest was however accentuated towards the end of the empires existence. Earlier on in the expansion, other motives were perceived to be of greater importance as is documented below. NO. The expansion of the Roman Empire, especially in the beginning of the empire in 437BC, was a act of might other than of defense. (Frank . F. Abbott,1901)

This urge to show might was then fueled by the rewards received by the empire after a victory. On emerging victorious in a war against an enemy territory, the Roman Empire would acquire the enemy’s wealth and the enemy’s citizens would act as man power to the Roman Empire. ( John B. Bury,1913) The Roman Empire received their revenue from taxing its citizens. Therefore, with more expansion came more citizens, hence more tax revenue. This proved to be a key motivator in the expansion of the empire.

The expansion especially in the east between 230 BC and 133 BC which began with the efense motive turned economically motivated when the Romans found that the east had vast wealth. The strategy changed in 179 BC after Aegean’s peace was jeopardized and Rome won the war. After this show of might, other potential enemies like Macedon chose to go under the empire’s direct rule which meant more wealth and resources for not only Macedon but the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire conquered the east in 133 BC with the victory over Asia Minor. This rule over the east meant more wealth for the empire and the empire strived to protect their interests in the east through out the empire’s existence.

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