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Megan Moseley Essay

999 words - 4 pages

The great empires that flourished between 300 B.C.E and 200 B.C.E. can all be broken down into the four factors the contributed to their rise. Although each empire faced prolonged periods of conflict, all four empires succeeded in imposing unity and order among the people. The rise of these empires can be attributed to four specific factors crucial to their construction. The factors crucial to the rise of the great empires included having a centralized form of leadership with enforced uniform legal codes, having powerful military forces, a strong economy, and technological advances. Ultimately an efficiently run, centralized government along side powerful military forces caused the success of the empires however in the same not a decentralized form of leadership and weakened military attributed to the great empires eventual collapse.

Each empire was unified under one government diverse and often previously antagonistic peoples and states. However no major ancient empire was democratically governed, but rather they were all hereditary dynasties. The Hellenistic states, Rome under the emperors and Han China recruited at least some officials on the basis of merit rather than birth. Relying on their schools to fill administrative positions, the successful ones would in turn give efficiency ratings and on the job training, basing promotions on performance. Exemplified in Han, administrators were chosen from a variety of formally educated men through an extensive selection process. However in the Hellenistic states, literacy in Greek was essential for success in advancement in both private and public sectors of society. To further ensure the success of the empires government, empires had enforced uniform legal codes. The roman empire exemplified this through Rome’s twelve tables, and mauryan empire did so through the mauryan code engraved on the stone pillars. An honest bureaucracy was a necessity to an effective empire, because of such they created checks and balances to help keep them in line. Han China, for example, created state universities in addition to an examination system that educated and selected men of integrity and ability for public service. In comparison the Romans accentuated the duty of the upper class to set moral examples and devote their lives to public service.
The military strength of an empire determined its ultimate success or failure as an empires military power was directly connected to its economic status and government rule. The military forces and diplomatic alliances protected ancient empires. Military strength maintained the success of the empire created through conquest. Contributing to the decline of the empires, the wealth generated by powerful empires inspired envy leaving outsiders waiting in hesitation for opportunities to breach defenses of empires like the Han and the Roman empire. Successful empires such as the Hellenistic, the roman,Han and Mauryan possessed weapons and military technology superior to those...

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