trick or treat: The Death of Classical Empires

Posted by Paul Davis on 10/31/2017

Hey WHAP'ers,

               As I get ready to put the kids trick or treating stuff together, I just wanted to quickly put together a daily quiz on the decline and fall of two classical Empires. While I fully expect most of you to do the Han ad Rome because it was completely laid out today, I will choose the Greeks and Chin. It is important to utilize the Conrad-Demarest wherever you can for we will cover at least 50 empires this year and it is a formula which normally works. Its seems as if history repeats itself and that one reason for decline and fall, sprals downwardly to create a domino effect of one after the one. There rarely is just one reason for anything and that holds true for the decline and Fall of Empires. Are We Rome? It is scary to look at the similarities and only time will tell as to the comparisions but it is not too late. There is plenty to hold that we are Rome during its epic Pax period and not a long downward spiral. Here we go:

I From 600 B.C.E-600 C.E both the Greek Poleis and Chin Dynasty fell due to violent insurrections and internal warfare, however Greece's connection to Mediterranean trade whilst the Chin's isolation protected it against disease and While the Athenian ideal of democracy would give voice to a population protecting it against rebellion, the legalist nature of the Chin Dynasty would watch its disintegartion and the rise of teh Han Dynasty.

II. Violence and warfare contribute to a deatsbilizing force and the Pelloponesian Wars and China's warring states after the death of Chin Shi Huang Ti would see the increasing violence lead to regime changes like the Macedonians in Greece and the Han Dynasty in China. Often a stronger more dynamic power will wait for a political vacuum to establish itself when a likely regime change would eb the reult to provide order and law to the destabilized chaos.

III. The Periclean plague in Athens would contribute to the deaths of many Athenian citizen named after its greatest ruler while Chin Dynasty would be protected against epidemic disease due to their regional isolation of the Gobi, Himalaya and the Pacific. The downside of the control of lucrative trade routes and densely populated urban ceneters is the liklihood of the spread of disease contributing to a loss of tax base, military might and faith in the government which happened in Athens while China did not experience this faith and, instead focused more on the punitive nature of Chin Shi Huan Ti's rule.

IV. The state-sponsored philosophy of legalism was overly punitive and caused massive rebellions in the Chin Dynasty after the death of Chin Shi Huang Ti while the one remaining ideology which persisted from Greece to Rome was the democratic ideal of people making their own governmental decisions. While might may make right, the harshness of legalism would see it take a backseat to Confucianism in the Han Dynaty to provide a good natured view of mankind similar to the hopes of Athenian Direct democracy paving the way for a more efficient representative (trepublic) democracy providing citizenry with hope for the future and putting off serious rebellion for centuries.

I hope this helps, happy Halloween and don't forget to be awesome!!!!!