By Amy Chua
During this sweeping historical past, bestselling writer Amy Chua explains how globally dominant empires—or hyperpowers—rise and why they fall. In a sequence of marvelous chapter-length stories, she examines the main robust cultures in history—from the traditional empires of Persia and China to the new worldwide empires of britain and the United States—and unearths the explanations in the back of their luck, in addition to the roots in their final demise.Chua's research uncovers a desirable old trend: whereas rules of tolerance and assimilation towards conquered peoples are crucial for an empire to be successful, the multicultural society that effects introduces new tensions and instabilities, threatening to drag the empire except inside of. What this implies for the U.S.' doubtful destiny is the topic of Chua's provocative and miraculous end.
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Additional info for Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall
The modern concept of freedom of religion as a “human right” was foreign to Cyrus and his successors. 19 THE MADMAN AND HIS CHAIR Cyrus left the massive empire he established to his son Cambyses, who ruled for just eight years (roughly 530-522 BC). According to Greek sources, Cambyses did not share his father's even temperament. ” Herodotus recorded a particularly charming episode involving Cambyses's efforts to enforce the rule of law: “One judge, Sisamnes, had given an unjust judgment in return for a bribe; Cambyses slaughtered him like a sheep and flayed him.
Isn't Tahiti a hyperpower in its own little world? Any definition that includes Tahiti as a global hegemon is clearly too broad. But what is the right definition? What exactly differentiates Rome from, say, the Aztecs, who at one time dominated Central America but who could never have been considered a world-dominant power? Several factors are obvious: the sheer size of the Roman Empire (2 million square miles, as compared to estimates of between 11,000 and 77,000 square miles for the Aztecs); the immense population ruled by Rome (roughly 60 million, as compared to estimates of between 1 and 6 million for the Aztecs)9; the fact that no power on earth (including Han China) was economically or militarily superior to Rome during the High Empire; and the fact that Rome competed with and overpowered societies on the then cutting edge of world technological development.
The Achaemenid Empire was, however, far larger than modern-day Iran. Its provinces or satrapies, with their archaic names, correspond to some modern headline-making regions in the Middle East and central Asia. Babylon, for example, which the Achaemenids conquered in 539 BC, stood in what is now Iraq, approximately sixty miles from Baghdad. Sogdiana was located in modern Uzbekistan. 7 A note about sources: The Achaemenid rulers left virtually no written histories of their own empire. The ancient Persians transmitted the triumphs and deeds of their kings primarily through oral traditions.
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