The Two Sides of Imperialism
Imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries began crumbling at its foundations. Small enclaves of ethnic and nationalist groups sprouted throughout their native countryside, binding their people together to rise against their enemies and oppressors. The thought of independence from the foreign rulers, from the class system they set up, and from the atrocities they committed to gain control of the land was more than enough to motivate the fellow countrymen to take action. The foreigners, however, stood confused, wondering how such a great colony turned into such a massive conflict. The seeds of oppression and cruelty were sown year after year, and finally bore fruit. What these foreigners didn’t consider, however, was that there are many ways of creating an empire. The Roman Empire’s standard of conglomeration is a better method of imperialism than the exploitative approach employed by 19th century nations. The Roman Empire never fell by a revolution from its own people. Rather, many of its subjects lived life as either full-time or part-time citizens of the empire. Many of the conquered people were given some semblance of citizenship, as “provincials”. The Empire, however, did provide the newly-conquered the opportunity to become a citizen, provided they meet certain qualifications or expectations. In the study of Roman affairs, it is found that, ... the Roman government worked to maximize the number of persons to whom Roman ius civile, the law of Roman citizens, applied... ... Beginning with the reign of the emperor Augustus (27 B.C.E.-14 C.E.), institutionalized practices permitted provincials to become citizens, generally by serving either in the Roman army or on a city council”. While the Roman Empire continued its oppressive conquest of Europe, it continually sought to make conquered lands and their people a part of Roman life and economy. By providing the conquered a chance to someday become a Roman citizen, there was little...
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