Average life span of an Empire - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15199402
My general impression, since I'm too lazy to research it, is that ancient-world empires lasted much longer than today's. The rate of change of technogical progress was slow, and culture was fairly static. I'd venture to say capitalism was the main impetus in accelerating all the processes that lead to change, disruption, and upheaval.

A system facing constant stress is one liable to succumb much faster than one thay faces more predictable and easily managed challenges.

The American Empire only lasted a couple of hundred years - the Soviet Union just seventy. My intuition is that these cycles will continue to be foreshortened, although any predictions under current circumstances are foolhardy.
#15199410
Wellsy wrote:So how long do these things tend to last?

Averaged over the whole span of history, somewhere between 200 and 300 years.

And yes, as @quetzalcoatl has pointed out, historical processes have speeded up since the advent of industrial capitalism. ‘Creative destruction’ and all that….
#15199419
quetzalcoatl wrote:
My general impression, since I'm too lazy to research it, is that ancient-world empires lasted much longer than today's. The rate of change of technogical progress was slow, and culture was fairly static. I'd venture to say capitalism was the main impetus in accelerating all the processes that lead to change, disruption, and upheaval.

A system facing constant stress is one liable to succumb much faster than one thay faces more predictable and easily managed challenges.

The American Empire only lasted a couple of hundred years - the Soviet Union just seventy. My intuition is that these cycles will continue to be foreshortened,


quetzalcoatl wrote:
although any predictions under current circumstances are foolhardy.



The U.S. will be supplanted by China's Evergrande.


= D
#15199445
quetzalcoatl wrote:The American Empire only lasted a couple of hundred years

1945 - 2010?

2010 - 1945 = 65

My maths skills are not up to much, but even I can see that is not a couple of hundred years.


:lol:
#15199447
ingliz wrote:1945 - 2010?

2010 - 1945 = 65

My maths skills are not up to much, but even I can see that is not a couple of hundred years.


:lol:

The American imperium was founded in the 1890s, when they went to war against a declining Spanish Empire and seized most of its remaining colonies in the Caribbean, as well as the Philippines &c. However, it is also possible to argue that American imperialism began back in the 18th century, with the expansion westwards into the Native American territories. This later inspired Hitler (via the novels of Karl May) to attempt a similar expansion eastwards....
#15199448
@Potemkin

Pre-WWII

Cuba (independent de facto protectorate), Danish West Indies, Dominican Republic (1916-1924), Haiti (1915-1934), and Puerto Rico

Philippines (gained control 1901 - quasi-independent 1935)

It's hardly worth calling an empire.

Post-WWII

The Free World and bits that aren't so free


:lol:
#15199457
Wellsy wrote:So how long do these things tend to last?


Well it depends on the empire. Empire truly die when it can not reform itself OR when other power destroys it is the answer in my opinion. For modern times, any empire can't be destroyed by foreign power for like 80 years now due to nuclear weapons. The internal reform question is more complicated but once again both modern democratic and authoritarian models are more inclined to reform compared to their pre 20th century counterparts. Democracies are inherently a lot lot better at this though than the modern authoritarian systems.
#15199464
ingliz wrote:It's hardly worth calling an empire.

By 1783 they ruled over French speaking areas as well as Amerindian lands, There were huge numbers of deep African subjects. I would suggest they were already putting the Akkadians to shame. In 1823 the US declared itself as a world power, not to be trifled with.
#15199466
Rich wrote:
In 1823 the US declared itself as a world power, not to be trifled with.



Ever hear of the War of 1812?

Dinner was on the table and still warm. British soldiers ate it before burning down the White House...

We still had problems with the British navy stealing our sailors, and other relatively minor acts of piracy.

We were not a world power. It was only after the Civil War that we started developing a fully capitalist economy that could support a fairly powerful navy.
#15199539
tomskunk wrote:@Potemkin

Well, one thing is for sure, the span of an empire seems to end right up to the point that they invade Afghanistan.

Or Russia. Lol.
#15199571
Rancid wrote:Define empire.


I think a good definition for the particular American case would be aligning the definition of 'Empire' to 'Great Power' which would make Potemkin correct.

Everyone in here is using the term to express a power status rather than an Imperial political system. I guess Empire from a power point of view begins the moment a state gains access to the affairs of third countries/peoples.
#15199601
tomskunk wrote:Well, one thing is for sure, the span of an empire seems to end right up to the point that they invade Afghanistan.

Why do people keep saying this? We Brits invaded Afghanistan, the land of the Pashtuns took control of a large part of the land of the Pashtuns, annexed it and finalised the southern border of rAfghanistan in 1893. We held on to our Afghan territory and passed it on to the Pakistan successor state.
#15200197
Potemkin wrote:Averaged over the whole span of history, somewhere between 200 and 300 years.

And yes, as @quetzalcoatl has pointed out, historical processes have speeded up since the advent of industrial capitalism. ‘Creative destruction’ and all that….

I got an idea...
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