View Poll Results: The Greatest Empire in History?

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  • Persian Empire

    0 0%
  • Roman Empire

    30 51.72%
  • Han Empire

    4 6.90%
  • Mayan Empire

    0 0%
  • Mongol Empire

    3 5.17%
  • Portuguese Empire

    0 0%
  • Spanish Empire

    0 0%
  • Russian Empire

    1 1.72%
  • French Empire

    2 3.45%
  • British Empire

    27 46.55%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: The Greatest Empire in History

  1. #91
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    The American Empire is the greatest in history. It's the only one that has ever truly been global.

    The entire world is more or less "Americanized" today.
    That's not quite fair. Americans were Britishized first. Some could even claim that the English were Romanized before that.

    Is the world truly Americanized? or is it Britishized? Or is it possibly Romanized? I think a fair argument could be made in either direction. American civilization is less authoritative and less invasive than the extensive colonization efforts of the English Empire.

    Maybe America does have a little bit of our own flavor and is not so dependent upon the English. The question is: Why am I arguing with myself?

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    The Roman Empire. No doubt in my mind.

    I would argue that the Byzantine Empire is legitimately the Roman Empire. The Byzantines certainly saw themselves as Roman - even if they were Hellenistic - and the land itself was part of the empire. Rome existed for something close to 1800 years and was the dominant polity for at least half that time. Add to that the fact that even today we - and much of the western world - still feel their influence it's hard to argue against them as the greatest empire.
    To some extent the influence that the pope has is a continuation of Rome.
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    The Bible says that the greatest empire in history will be the beast, so for that reason, I hope another nation beats America out for the title.
    Not even in the running. Empire? America? Okay, there was a bunch of disparate native tribes that were heroically vanquished in equal battle (ahem) and lots of land purchased from Napoleon who had not a sniff of interest in New France and more territories picked up as the Spanish Empire shrank and left them behind, but there never has been an American Empire. And that's been a positive thing in American history, that they didn't indulge in imperialism and colonialism when they had the means to do so.
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Of the choices, I'm going to say the British Empire because it brought more civilization to more parts of the world than any other in the list. The "American" empire is not listed, and would be grouped by itself in my view because its real power (beyond the current borders) hasn't been used to conquer and hold land, but has transformed more of the world through its ideals. No doubt we could go on all month about the American empire, because I would expect a lot of disagreement. No empire has been built without significant change and some level of brutality for a period. There's always good and bad.
    Hm. I'm going to ask for examples of countries that have been transformed through American ideals. American culture, yes, definitely, and America's contributions to the arts through music and film are enormous but that's not empire. Empire is land. Territory. America became the nation it is at the cost of a lot of collaterals but, honestly, excepting Hawaii and Alaska America has confined itself to it's natural borders ("54.40 or fight"! aside). And that's a good thing.
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    There's one option curiously missing from the choices we can select from.

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    It depends on how 'great' is defined, of course; my vote was a toss up between the Roman and the British empires, in terms of the best positive impact on the world. I went with Rome, since it made possible the rise of Western culture and the spread of Christianity, the most positive radical paradigm and social revolution in history. The British colonial legacy was far better than any other empire's; their former colonies have fared better than any of the other colonial empires.

    The U.S. was never much of an 'empire'; yes, it's popular with hysterical neurotics to claim it is, but in real life it isn't, and wasn't.

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by vasuderatorrent View Post
    That's not quite fair. Americans were Britishized first. Some could even claim that the English were Romanized before that.

    Is the world truly Americanized? or is it Britishized? Or is it possibly Romanized? I think a fair argument could be made in either direction. American civilization is less authoritative and less invasive than the extensive colonization efforts of the English Empire.

    Maybe America does have a little bit of our own flavor and is not so dependent upon the English. The question is: Why am I arguing with myself?

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    There's one option curiously missing from the choices we can select from.
    Merv Griffin's?

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    I think it could be equally (and more convincingly) argued that America is 'British' fundamentally in its culture and institutional history. Obviously not what you're wanting to hear, but I have to admit I think that America's global power is A) Significantly less than Britain's at its height and B) Fundamentally not dissimilar to British ideas of how the world should be. America is a product of Britain, directly, and 'Americanization' appears to me to have all the hallmarks of Britain's 'civilising' quest.

    Plus, the British Empire was totally global, too.


    America hasn't been very British for at least a century, if not longer. I'd say that even the Britain of today is so radically different from the British Empire in its heyday as to be practically a different creature.... thus the above assertions are not, IMO, very accurate.

    Many Americans may be Brit-by-blood more or less, but our culture developed amid a very different atmosphere and circumstances. There are fundamental differences that cannot be swept under the rug.

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    America hasn't been very British for at least a century, if not longer. I'd say that even the Britain of today is so radically different from the British Empire in its heyday as to be practically a different creature.... thus the above assertions are not, IMO, very accurate.

    Many Americans may be Brit-by-blood more or less, but our culture developed amid a very different atmosphere and circumstances. There are fundamental differences that cannot be swept under the rug.
    On the contrary, I think literally every major facet of American culture is fundamentally British.

    The US speaks English -- from Britain. The US follows the common law -- from Britain. The US political system mirrors the House of Commons and House of Lords, and many political theorists even think the US's system ought more accurately be called Parliamentary than Presidential, because besides Obama, nearly every president has sought the approval of Congress and adhered to Congressional supremacy.

    The US venerates English traditions, celebrates British holidays, uses British measurements, and all of its 'formative legends' are fundamentally identical (or outright identical) to those in Britain. Places in the US are named after Britain, and monuments and statues are all in British style.

    The US teaches a historical causal chain starting in the same place as Britain's, and following Britain's until 1776, at which point it diverges -- but even then only slightly. Fundamentally, the US has always and continues to look to Europe, Britain in particular, for its 'raison d'etre'.

    The US is founded on British ideals of Enlightenment and Protestantism. American democracy? English Civil War/Parliamentary Supremacy. American religion? Thank God for Henry VIII.

    The US is built off of British principles of free-trade and entrepreneurism. Industrialism, itself a British invention, was and maybe remains the guiding force in American economic thought.

    Even things as minor and minute as the US flag are directly based on Britain, along with things like the US national anthem being in cadence with British marching songs of the time, and the US taking its naming and military conventions directly from Britain.

    In sum, the US is thoroughly and totally British -- with the caveat that they don't really like being called such. Yet their language, culture, art, history, government, laws and people are all identical or directly descended from British traditions.

    It seems rather obvious from my viewpoint, but I stress that it's not a bad thing. For some reason, some might take this all as an insult -- but it's surely not meant to be. After all, you ARE colonists, how could you possibly not be based off the coloniser? But at the same time you've done something wonderful and exceptional with what Britain has given you, which we all think is very impressive.

    Just as a child must acknowledge the parent, don't try to claim the US is not the child of Britain. Instead marvel at what that child has accomplished -- or to quote Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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