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Zachary
Weston
Mrs. Funk
Inquiry Skills
29 April 2014
Super powers: downfalls being mirrored in the United States of America.

History is said to repeat itself and this includes the reasons for nations being destroyed. The fall
of super powers throughout history are caused by deteriorating economic prowess, cultural
turmoil, and weak leadership; and this process in currently being mirrored by the United States
of America.
Deterioration of the economy
Deteriorating economic prowess causes super powers to collapse by devaluing of
currency, rapid inflation, and the upkeep of a large military during peace time. All of these
factors have a serious drag on the economy. Persons engage in transactions harmful to the city,
such as gambling, lending at interest, bribery, cheating in the sale of commodities, high prices,
and hoarding commodities.(e) section 2(Syros Vasileios)This quote of Vasileios entitles that
the high prices of goods due to inflation cause the crime rate to increase. With the increased
crime rate means that more people would go to jail. With more people in jail the government has
to foot the bill and to house them unless they got the death penalty or some other form of swift
justice. Housing people in large quantities is not the cheapest feat for a nation. Also hoarding of
important items of the cities are sparked. When people hoard goods the price of commodities
increases making it harder for the lower or middle class to purchase, so therefore one would
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understand why they would resort to crime in order to feed themselves or family. Economic
[empires with a] lack of circulating currency and trade deficit, and other factors not clearly
[expressed/shown like] economic, like environmental change and decaying infrastructure.(C.R.
Whittakers The Frontier of Rome) what he was expressing here is that with a decaying economy
comes the wealthy and people in general holding onto as much money as possible to avoid
risking their economic status. When this happens the flow of currency is greatly decreased and
there is simply not enough money in the market to make a living. So when one thinks about this
one can conceive the notion that with no money circulation the governments takes action and
begin printing or coining more money which devalues the currency of the nation. An analogy to
help one see this is that of precious metals. For example if a gigantic gold mine was discovered
that made it as common as silicone the price would drastically decrease. Also the large military
of Rome hurt the empire economically during the Third Century Crisis by having to pay for forts
to be erected on the borders in present day Germany to defend itself from Germanic tribe raids.
Unfortunately for Rome the lasting cost of the military with no intent to expand and capture loot
that kept them going had a strong bearing on its economy. When they could no longer afford to
put a garrison in the forts the Germanic tribes raided and demanded tribute. The Romans gave
the tribute which further damaged their economy but, the Germaniums proceeded to attack them
knowing Rome was powerless to stop them. Rome being desperate employed mercenaries to
combat the tribesmen but in doing so caused their ultimate downfall. Romulus Augustus was the
last Roman emperor but he was overthrown by odectuvin who was the leader of the barbarian
mercenaries ultimately causing the collapse of the western empire. One piece of information
about the hiring of mercenaries is that they are much more expensive than training your own and
have questionable loyalties.
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Cultural turmoil
Cultural turmoil can lead to the collapse of a superpower through rebellions and loss of
religion upon which the power was founded on. The Eastern Roman Empire was destroyed by
Islam through the gradual transformation of the religion in the area surrounding Judea. (it never
fell or fell to Islam).(page 3) when this happened many wars were fought with the neighboring nations
causing a flux in defense stability. This made citizens weary of attackers making them revolt splitting the
empire into pieces. Eventually it was combined back but, shortly after Constantinople collapsed. Egypt
also had similar cultural problems when a large percentage of the populace was Nubian but was forced
to follow the Egyptian religion. When Nubia became a separate nation the people still within Egypt
revolted causing Egypt to have a Nubian pharaoh. Another example of this is when Rome converted to
Christianity after Constantine. Great questioning of the emperor began due to no Christian believing in
the divinity of the emperor. At first the Romans tried to fight them but the turmoil continued until they
were forced to change their religion to accommodate the general populace. Once the people had
converted those who clung to the old ways of the Roman Empire died out and Rome was no longer
worshipping Roman gods.
Weak leadership
Weak leadership is one of the largest reasons for the collapse of superpowers through poor military
decisions, and bad management of citizens and money. One example is emperor Nero of Rome who
squandered the empires wealth on large monuments of himself. He is recoded to have burnt Rome to
the ground due to people rioting as a result of his mismanagement. Eventually Emperor Nero was killed
and all of his statues destroyed. The people appointed their own emperor in his stead.Also one may also
sight Versngeterix of Gaul. He had a much larger army than Julius Caesar but instead he sent a slightly
larger force to attack him and the fled to Alsea and barricaded his army within the town preparing for
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Caesar to attack. The army he sent was beaten by Caesar by his army left to fight him not having a
capable general as himself which wasted his larger numbers and making it a closer fight in Alsea. Caesar
marched to Alsea and starved his army out by building the largest siege works on record and when the
Gauls came out they were half starved and unable to mount an effective defense. The Romans easily
slaughtered them. Poor management can also be said of King George the third of England. He increased
taxes on the American colonies due to his large debt from a war that gained him nothing. His war was
one of pride and did not help the economy because no land was gained or lost but, the outfitting of
soldiers cost him money. Also the destruction of Nazi Germany was completely caused by command
errors of the Resteig. Adolf Hitler allowed his hatred toward Stalin to consume him. Instead of attacking
the soviet capital of Moscow he concerned himself with destroying Stalins signature city of Stalingrad.
He wasted over two months and over 100000 German soldiers fighting a long drawn out siege. Doing
this gave the soviet military time to organize themselves and mount a counterattack on Germany which
would prove disastrous for Germany. Another mistake was also made in world war two was the
Germans not crushing the British army at Dunkirk allowing them to come back to England and be used
to counter operation sea lion. When operation sea lion was combated the Luftwaffe was annihilated
during the Battle of Britain. The very forces spared at Dunkirk were used in air defense from the ground.
Later they were used during the invasion of Germany which eventually won the war for the allied
powers in Europe.
How the process is taking place within the United States.
The economic deterioration of the U.S. is simply due to debt. The current debt is around seventeen
trillion dollars and is predicted to rise to twenty trillion by 2016(CBO). The main proprietors of this is the
keeping of the largest and most advanced military in the world and social welfare programs as a result of
unemployment and inflation. As previously covered inflation causes the state to print or coin extra
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money which devalues the currency further increasing inflation. The amount of people unwilling to work
or take government jobs is one of the ways Syros Vasileios claims that empires collapse. The
amount of people working government jobs is about twenty percent of the nations population
according to Fox news. I believe that is also a cultural reason with it to become the normality to
be employed by the government. The weak leadership reason could be debated but, when
looking at this from a strictly bipartisan way one can deduce that the failures economically have
to have been caused by some sort of lapses in leadership/command.
Conclusion
Every superpower has fallen due to similar reasons that seem to repeat itself just as history does.
Even the U.S. has been continuing this pattern that will always continue.