This paper seeks to compare and contrast the development of empires in the period 500 BCE and the ones developed in the period 1400-1700 CE. The research identifies the similarities and the differences among these empires. The paper further seeks to evaluate the institutions and concepts that these empires have relied on. The research also identifies the influential people at the time of these empires.
World history, also known as the global or transnational history, is a branch of the ancient history that describes all the world history from an international perspective (Duiker, 2014). World history materialized as a distinctive educational subdivision in the 1980s (Duiker, 2014). The world history purposes to find the similar patterns that develop in different societies and cultural backgrounds around the world (Duiker, 2014). For the world historians to fully understand and interpret the world history to the rest of the readers, they use the thematic strategy that entails two crucial points, such as integration and difference (Fernández-Armesto, 2015). Integration describes the numerous procedures that have brought people from the different parts of the world together. On the other hand, difference designates the various global patterns in the world history that divulge the multiplicity of human understandings.
It is the world history that discusses the development of different empires. An empire describes the addition of a state’s autonomy over peripheral dominions and a diversity of various cultural assemblages (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). An empire does not necessarily mean that an emperor has ruled it. An empire represents an entity that comprises of various political bodies, which are usually considered to be very large and have been conquered by an emperor (Fernández-Armesto, 2015). The purpose of the current paper is to compare and contrast the development of empires in the period 500 BCE and the empires developed in the period 1400-1700 CE.
Comparisons of the Empires Developed in the Period 500 BCE and the Empires Developed in the Period 1400-1700 CE
The differences and the similarities between the two types of empires are discussed below.
Empires Developed in the Period 500 BCE
The Persian Empire that is mostly referred to as the Achaemenid Persian Empire was established in 500 BCE by Cyrus the Great (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). Cyrus the Great was widely known as the King of Kings (Shahanshah). The Persian Empire was a major empire as it was the first proper empire that fixed the average requirements of what it to be an empire for the future upcoming empires. The Persian Empire existed when most of the Oikumene people dominated the Middle East, and they ruled for many years. The Empire had a populace of nearly 49.9 million people (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). It had 44% of the world’s population as at that time. The Persian Empire linked diverse regions such as the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, India, Europe, and the Mediterranean zone (Andrea & Overfield, 2015).
The Persian Empire led to the use of a system of roads, brought autonomy for various civilizations, contributed to the development of postal systems, introduced the usage of a single common language for administration, such as the Imperial Aramaic, and also created the bureaucracy (Benjamin, 2015). The common religion in the Empire was Zoroastrianism that resulted in the development of central concepts among people, such as the free will, heaven, and hell in the Abrahamic religions via Judaism. The Persian Empire collapsed under the leadership of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE (Fernández-Armesto, 2015).
Classical China Empire
The classical China Empire was developed during the 500 BCE and lasted until 600 BCE (Benjamin, 2015). The empire’s political power was under the first emperor known as Shi Huangdi. The Chinese empire comprised of two dynasties, namely the Han and the Qin. The Qin lasted between 221-206 BCE while the Han lasted between 202 BCE- 220 CE (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The Han and the Qin dynasties laid the foundation for the classical China Empire that came into existence in the 500 BCE (Bentley, Ziegler & Salter, 2013). During the Han period, there was the development of a rigid centralized government that Shi continued to support and protect. In the classical Chinese Empire, Confucianism was developed, as well as Legalism and Daoism, and later Buddhism was introduced (Mann, 2012). The Empire also experienced bureaucracy, improved agriculture, commerce, the usage of postal systems, and handicrafts. The empire further united the diverse ethnic groups under its control, thus, ensuring that there was unity (Fernández-Armesto, 2015).
Classical India Empire
The classical Indian Empire was also known as the Mauryan Empire that lasted between 269-232 BCE (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The Mauryan Empire was founded by Alexander the Great of 326 BCE. The Mauryan Empire was one of the most important empires in the history of India and the world in general as it had a huge population and it also lasted for a long period. The Empire existed during the era of two main religions, namely Buddhism and Jainism. The empire was ruled by Ashoka who succeeded Alexander (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The empire led to the spreading of the Aryan culture through the whole India. Economic development was also noticed making India a prominent nation. During the time of Ashoka, trade channels were opened in the continent that promoted free trade (Bentley et al., 2013). The emperor also developed the usage of the money during trade and, consequently, enabled the use of Arabic numerals to make the counting of money easier. Later in 320-550 BCE, the Gupta Empire emerged. It also represented the classical India Empire that was led and found by Sri Gupta (Spodek, 2014). Sri Gupta contributed to the establishment of education and cultural development. In 712 CE, the empire collapsed (Andrea & Overfield, 2012).
Empires Developed in the Period 1400 CE-1700 CE
The Ottoman Empire (the present modern Turkey) was founded at the end of the 13th century in the northwestern part of Anatolia in the region of Bilecik and Sogut by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader, Osman (Jolly, 2015). The empire extended its territory through three continents, including the Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North America (Jolly, 2015). The empire was headed by Suleiman the Magnificent who ruled between 1520 and 1566 CE (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The empire was the most powerful during the 16th and the 17th century. It consisted of 29 provinces and many vassal states. The empire granted autonomy to some of the states for them to develop on their own while others were absorbed and became part of the empire (Bentley et al., 2013). The Ottoman Empire was the centralized point of connections among the eastern and the western zones of the globe for more than six centuries. The empire was headquartered in Constantinople that contributed to its ability to control everything including the lands around the Mediterranean region (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The Ottoman Empire embraced the Islamic religion and spread it to its neighboring nations. However, the empire later collapsed (Benjamin, 2015).
The Mongol Empire was founded in 1206 CE by Mongol Warlord Temujin who later received the title of Genghis Khan (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). Temujin at one point had vowed to bring the world to his feet, so he began by unifying all the Mongol clans that were scattered. The empire materialized through taking over some regions of China (Spodek, 2014). The empire further grew during the Golden Age when the Mongol empire’s ambassadors were killed by emperors from the immediate empire, Khwarazmian Empire that had support from Iran, Central Asia, and Afghanistan (Fernández-Armesto, 2015). After the assassination of the ambassadors, the Mongol empire fought back that led to the war that resulted in the empire acquiring Central Asia (Andrea & Overfield, 2012).
Originally the Mongol Empire had a population of approximately 2 million, but it later conquered most of the Middle East, China, and Russia. Mongol always survived attacks from the big empires as it had a strong army that consisted of ruthless and fearless fighters (Mann, 2012). For a short while, the empire formed peace treaties with the neighboring nations that led to economic development that was a result of trade prosperity. In 1687 CE, the empire collapsed and was split into four Khanates that could not provide the unification of the Mongol empire (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). As the emperor continued to acquire more communities, the empire became too big for him to manage as there were ensuing fights among the different cultures in the empire (Duiker, 2014).
The Roman Empire has always been known to be excellent in the western region of the globe (Duiker, 2014). It is among the greatest empires in the world. The empire had a population of approximately 56 million (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The empire was strong as it acquired huge lands and held different territories for thousands of years. It was ruled by many emperors, such as Romulus Augustus, Julius Nepos, Septimius Severus, and Alexander Severus (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The empire practiced Christianity and ensured that the states it conquered also adopted Christianity. The Roman Empire was run smoothly, and it was very successful hence various communities aspired to become part of it. Thus, when they were conquered, no force was required to hold them together (Fernández-Armesto, 2015).
The modern world adopted most of the Roman Empire features. For instance, the empire accepted the Hellenistic principles, thus, passing them to the Greek planning, viewpoint, and science to the upcoming generations (Benjamin, 2015). Other empires always attacked the Roman Empire, but it always won as it had a strong army who defended it. The empire led to the development and improvement of roads, education provision, and transformations of postal systems. The Roman Empire later collapsed in 1453 CE due to the attacks from German ethnic groups and got dissolved in 1806 CE (Andrea & Overfield, 2015).
The First British Empire
The British Empire was formed in 1497 CE by King Henry VII of England and lasted until 1783. The empire was the largest in the history of empires in the context of the area covered; the empire had 13 million square miles (roughly a quarter of the earth’s total area). The empire was also the largest as it had a population of 500 million (roughly a quarter of the world’s total population) (Andrea & Overfield, 2015). The British Empire contributed to the establishment of political stability as it reformed its political standings, enabled cultural diversity, and also changed the people’s way of life for the better. The British Empire was characterized by an obligation to open-mindedness, civic human rights, the rule of law, and flourishing trade (Craig et al., 2015). These features made the empire successful, and it continued to acquire more zones. The empire was also powerful regarding its political standing, financial positions, and had a strong army that defended it from its enemies. The first British Empire collapsed in 1783 CE and gave way to the emergence of the second British Empire that lasted from 1783 to1815 CE (Andrea & Overfield, 2015).
The Russian Empire was established in 1721 CE and lasted until 1917. The Russian empires succeeded the Tsardom of Russia while it was proceeded by the Soviet Union (Benjamin, 2015). The empire was the third largest empire after the British Empire and the Mongol Empire respectively. It had a populace of around 182 million, and it covered an area of 22 million square kilometers (Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The empire was established following the downfall of the Swedish territory, the Ottoman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Persian Empire (Craig et al., 2015). The empire controlled the Eastern part of Europe, Asia, and North America. The empire had freedom of worship as some people belonged to the Buddhism, Judaism, Islamic, Protestantism, Hinduism, Christianity, and paganism religions. The empire was headed by Emperor Peter the Great from 1721 to 1725, and Nicholas II from 1894 to 1917(Andrea & Overfield, 2012). The empire led to economic advancement, agriculture development, construction of roads, factories and railways (Fernández-Armesto, 2015).
The world history describes all the world history from an international perspective. In the world history, there was the establishment of various empires in the 500s BCE and the 1400-1700s CE. In the 500s BCE, the Persian, Classical India, and Classical China empires occurred. Nonetheless, during the period 1400-1700 CE, the Russian, first British, Roman, Mongol, and the Ottoman empires were also formed. The empires from both periods shared some common factors., For example, the empires contributed to the establishment of the unity among various communities that the empires acquired, led to economic and trade development, and promoted the construction of roads and factories. Another similarity is that at one point all the empires collapsed. On the other hand, the empires also had their set of differences, such the years that they were formed, the areas that they controlled, their populaces, and the religions that they practiced.