Khmer At Angkor Wat

By Austin Leopold and Paige Freyre

Introduction

Throughout the downfall of Khmer At Angkor Wat there were many factors that played into its collapse, such as climate change, weak leadership, and conflict with rival kingdoms.
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Climate Change

Throughout the empires rule they grew there own crops and thrived mostly off rice while usually having a surplus of many other crops. As the empire was already in its downfall, due to other reasons soon to be mentioned, a drought that lasted decades occurred, leaving the once prosperous agriculture begin to start its downfall. The drought continued for decades leaving the crops to end up drying up because the irrigation systems simply could not help the crops will little to no water. Another way the climate change was a leading cause of the collapse of Khmer at Angkor Wat is that after this long drought came a huge monsoon. The monsoon continued for more than a few months and was no help in giving water to the crops since it was causing floods and ruining the crops. Some of the major causes that these climate changes had are that the drought shrunk the water supply, while the following monsoons destroyed the irrigation system due tot he major flooding that was caused. As both the drought and the monsoons created a large shortage of food and a growth in infectious disease amongst the empire, which would all eventually lead to a decrease in population. Also, these could lead to people abandoning the empire in fear of eventually having no food or getting a disease.
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Weak Leadership

It is evident weak leadership contributed to the fall of Khmer at Angkor Wat. Although there are not many statistics on their weak leadership, it is clear those in charge were unable to save Khmer from its demise. Khmer kings often involved themselves into war and conquest, resulting in being in constant battle with enemies. While Khmer was at continual war, the government would decline due to a lot of money being used on military and soldiers dying. It is thought the abrupt demise of Khmer was a mixture between economic, political, and environmental issues and the civilizations leadership failed to gain power and take full control over Khmer to save it.
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Conflict With Rival Kingdoms

Another way Khmer At Angkor began to fall apart and eventually collapse was that the empires neighboring kingdoms and rivals began to invade when it was at its lowest point. As the climate changes began to weaken them, the siamese in 1431 were the main invaders that collapsed the kingdom, which was at a bad time as the kingdom has just gone through those terrible climate changes. As neighboring kingdoms began to grow bigger than Angkor, they became threats. Thus, instead of being able to conquer more places to stay as an expanding kingdom, Angkor designated much of its man-power to keeping those threats out of Angkor. Another way the conflict with rival kingdoms was a cause of the collapse of Khmer at Angkor Wat is that the roads they built were used by invaders as an easy walk into the empire which made it easier for rival kingdoms to invade Khmer. The roads that they created lead right to the heart of the empire and it was the roads that allowed the siamese to march right into the heart of Angkor and collapse the kingdom.
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Citations

"Did Climate Influence Angkor's Collapse?" Lamont-Doherty Earth Observitory. Columbia University, 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.


Lambert, Katie. Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast: Why Did Angkor Fall?N.d. Discovery Education. Discovery Channel, 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. <http://app.discoveryeducation.com/player/view?assetGuid=53D9E151-5828-476C-961C-FC9E7973F0F6&showBreadcrumbs=true>


Maugh, Thomas H. "Drought and Floods Led to Angkor's Fall." Pro Quest. N.p., 31 Mar. 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <http://search.proquest.com/nationalnewscore/docview/422295468/30EE281C281743B2PQ/10?accountid=4973>


Overton, Leonard C. "The Decline of Angkor." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 June 2006. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/90520/Cambodia/52482/The-decline-of-Angkor>.


"What Happend at Angkor Wat." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.