You are on page 1of 2

The Rise & Fall of Empires

Sergio Montanino
Why did the first empires decline, and how did new empires rise to take their place? During the period from 300 to 1500 C.E., the world changed in many ways. Kingdoms and empires rose and fell, and new ones took their place. The collapse of classical civilizations changed society in Rome, China, and India. But new social structures soon emerged. A series of crises shook the classical civilizations of China, Rome, and India. The Han, Roman, and Gupta empires had flourished for hundreds of years. They had dominated their separate worlds and produced great cultural achievements. By 550 C.E., however, they had all collapsed, due to invasions, inefficiency and unorganized politics. Through their collapse, new empires have been brought up, empires such as the Mongol Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim Empire. The old empires had fallen for similar reasons: inefficiency, unorganized politics/strategy, and invasion. The Han dynasty for example has fallen due to inefficiency in political values. The Han family started losing power, other factions in the system started causing conflicts for the control of power. Other than that conflict, they were affected by pressure from nomadic tries that were trying to invade form the west. In order to finance money for military power, taxes were raised on peasants, causing a major loss of money for farmers and workers, causing to sell their land. These factors contributed to the decline of the Han Empire. The Roman and Gupta empires collapsed for more or less the same reasons; the Romans had a combination of decline in their ruling system and invasion from Germanic territories, whereas the Gupta Empire was mostly invasion from central Asian territories, such as the White Huns. The fall of such incredible empires gave birth to equally glorious others, such as the Mongol Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim Empire. The Byzantine Empire was mostly the left over of the Roman empire that had collapsed in Europe, although their territory was more towards the west of Asia/ east of Europe. They never achieved the greatness the Roman Empire had, but they were known for their trading abilities with the rest of Europe and Asia. One of the most famous empires that have appeared after the fall of the classical civilizations though is known as the Muslim Empire. This empire rose when the prophet Muhammad appeared, also known as the founder of Islam. Through his teachings and ideas, Muslims were able to retake Mecca. After Muhammads death, 4 caliphs took control of the power and in only 30 years they took control over all the Middle East and northern Africa. Some time later though, an even greater empire rose: the Mongol World. Genghis Khan ruled the beginning of this empire. Genghis first turned his army south, toward China. After several years of fighting, he had taken a large portion of northern China. He then moved west, capturing the lands of Central Asia and gaining control over the Silk Road. Crossing the Himalayas, he also occupied parts of modern-day Pakistan. He was known for being ruthless, and an excellent war strategist (amongst other factors that aided his conquering). In 1227, after his death, his family took power, continuing the expansion of this Empire, taking over the rest of China, all of Russia, and most of Southwest Asia. Their westward advance was finally halted at the gates of Vienna and the shores of the Mediterranean. By 1260, Mongol lands extended across Eurasia, from China to Europe. In half a century, the Mongols had created an empire more than twice as large as the Muslim Empire, and six times larger than the Roman.

Empires fall and crumble, because there is no such thing as perfection, just progression. There has been no successful empire because there perfection is inexistent. No matter the situation, we have seen defects in any event or any action we do, in everyday life and in our current political systems. In my opinion, the fall of empires will take place no matter how strong such empire is. There is no flawless kingdom; each ruling territory has a weak point that allows it to collapse. Even the Mongol World, which built a gigantic empire that took over all of Asia among other locations more west, was stricken down. It might not be due to invasion, but there are too many factors that can cause an empire to cease to exist. Throughout history, great empires have been seen collapse, and new ones form. This took place through all of mankinds history. Each kingdom formed has been taken down, no matter how great they were. The classical civilizations of China, Rome, and India are just a few examples, such as the Mongol Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim Empire. There are many more other kingdoms that have been replaced, and this has occurred throughout the start of such realms.