Day of Empire Essay

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Day Of Empire Summer Reading Essay

Empires have dominated our globe for centuries on, yet no one has linked the connection between how these empires rise, and what causes their reign to end. Through collective studies, Day Of Empire author Amy Chua presents a persuasive theory which argues that hyper powers achieved their world dominance through tolerance of culture and religion, as well as the individuals residing in the conquered society, amassing their talents for the benefit of the Empire.

The Great Persian (Achaemenid) Empire

Amy Chua develops chapter one by introducing the reader to the Achaemenid Empire or Persian Empire, the first hyper power in history, ruling over one third of the world’s population, and a territory more vast than all known empires throughout history. Following the introduction to such an exquisitely large empire, Amy Chua suggests the Persian empire achieved their dominance and maintained it, with one critical strategy: Tolerance. The hearth of the Persian Empire can be derived from the tolerance of Cyrus the Great. Cyrus’ technique for expanding the empire was to conquer, but with peace. Rather than attacking and striking fear into the nearby lands and their residents, Cyrus tolerated the culture, belief and rituals of the residents, which built a favorism towards Cyrus, and an empire, built to last . Cyrus then, left the enormous empire he built to his son, Cambyses who after invading Egypt, continued his father’s policy and tolerated the customs and culture of the local residents. With Cambyses’ conquests of Phoenicia, Libya Egypt and many other cities, the Achaemenid Empire rose to the “worlds greatest naval power.” After the death of Cambyses, a relative named Darius, took over. Building on what Cambyses and Cyrus had accomplished, Darius expanded into India and Eastern Europe and introduced a system of currency, extended/improved communication systems, and formalized taxing. Throughout his ruling, Darius continued the policy of “cultural and religious tolerance” and by accepting and tolerating the wide amount of diversity, people, and their individual talents, the possibility of revolutions minimized and an empire flourished for a good two hundred years. Downfall of the empire could originally be traced from Xerex, King Darius’ son. With a reputation for cruelty and intolerance, Xerex was brutal, killing and enslaving whoever came in his way. Brutality rose, and tolerance fell, ultimately resulting in revolts, and the fall of the world’s first massive empire.

When the Achaemenid Empire came to power, several matters and affairs surrogated, as well as advancements and improvements in many areas. The empire consisted of many cities and peoples with different backgrounds and diversities, which ultimately proved to weaken the King’s authority. Neither Cyrus nor Darius “Persianized” their subjects, which in return, the Empire didn’t hold a form of political unity. There wasn’t an Achaemenid Identity which the people of the Empire felt bound to, or took pride in. No standard religion, language or social network was established, leaving extremely diverse people to create distinct communities, rather than unification within the Empire. Politically and economically however, Darius the Great exemplified the economy by setting up a regulated tax system, based on the income and production of each satrapy/city. Tariffs were placed on trade, efficiently benefiting the Empire. 

The Roman Empire

Following the Achaemenid Empire, Amy Chua discusses the success of the Roman Empire, primarily focusing on how tolerance allowed Rome to prosper and grow, ruling out any rivals or competition. The first thing differentiating the Roman Empire from the Achaemenid, was the government and its consisting members. Emperors themselves were not Roman, and the advisory board consisted of Non-Roman members as well. “Roman” soon became a cultural identity that upheld value and...
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