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%
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Thread: The Greatest Empire in History

  1. #41
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    Britain did at one time rule the waves, but not to the extent America does today. In part, this is due to advancements in technology - imagine what the British could have done in Asia with aircraft carriers.

    The fact is, the United States has coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific. So to say that the British dominated the Pacific as the Americans do today defies common sense.

    I certainly credit the British for the industrial revolution. No argument there.
    I think we're mixing up the objective-subjective context thing again. Remember that no one is denying that the firepower that the US commands is greater than any other nation in history. This is obviously and reasonably true -- technology has advanced. But imploring me to think of what 'Britain could do with aircraft carriers in the Pacific' makes me think you haven't taken this lesson to heart.

    At the height of the British Empire, the Royal Navy was overwhelmingly more powerful than any other navy in the world. The US Navy today is overwhelmingly more powerful than any other navy in the world, too, but not to the same extent.

    The Royal Navy was so powerful that after Britain decided to outlaw slavery, the RN policed the entire world's oceans to make sure the slave trade was really abolished. Their global reach was so pervasive that they passed a law and then just FORCED the entire world to follow it -- think of that!

    As well, I'm not sure what you mean by saying that Britain didn't have command of both the Atlantic and Pacific. It certainly did! British territory across the Pacific, some of which it still owns, included Australia, Pitcairn, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, the New Hebrides and the Solomon Islands.

    In the Atlantic, the British owned (and still own) Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Canada, Nova Scotia, the Bahamas, Jamaica, British Guyana, so much of Africa I don't even know where to start, and of course the British Isles themselves.

    In the Indian Ocean, Britain owned (and also somewhat still owns) India, Pakistan, Zanzibar, the Chagos Islands, Ceylon, the Arabian Peninsula, and South Africa.

    In the Southern Ocean, the British owned parts of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, Australia (again), and New Zealand.

    In the Arctic Ocean, Britain owned Canada, Orkney, and Shetland.

    So I'm not sure what you mean when you say Britain's reach didn't extend to two oceans.

  2. #42
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    The US is not an empire so what's your point here?
    I don't understand what you mean. My point is to discuss empires, and ask which Debate Politics thinks was the greatest empire in history. Who's talking about the US?

  3. #43
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    BTW Google..... another American invention.

    You're welcome, world.
    I agree, Google is a great American invention, made by the wholesome American inventor Серге́й Миха́йлович Брин (Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin).


  4. #44
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    I don't understand what you mean. My point is to discuss empires, and ask which Debate Politics thinks was the greatest empire in history. Who's talking about the US?
    Seems to me you are saying the US is an empire or at least implying so.

    "There's a thread bumping around about American exceptionalism, and a common theme in that thread is noting that many great nations have exceptionalist viewpoints and tendencies.

    Over the course of the thread, one user posted a poem as a response to Rudyard Kipling's 'White Man's Burden', a sort of nod to American imperialism in the Philippines marking the US's transition from upstart colony to proper colonial power.

    The poem is extremely well-done, and I am in total awe at how perfectly it nails the response to Kipling. It can be found here:

    Ex-Conservative: The Judgment of Peers

    You'll note that the poem evokes the imagery of the great empires of the world judging America on its imperial capability -- and this imagery got me thinking about the empires of the past.

    So, Debate Politics, vote, for which you think the greatest empire in history was!"

  5. #45
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    The US is not an empire so what's your point here?
    It does have all the hallmarks of an empire.
    ‘This is not peace, it is an armistice for 20 years.’ (Ferdinand Foch. After the Treaty of Versailles, 1919).

  6. #46
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins86 View Post
    It does have all the hallmarks of an empire.
    Empires confiscate, America liberates.

  7. #47
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Seems to me you are saying the US is an empire or at least implying so.

    "There's a thread bumping around about American exceptionalism, and a common theme in that thread is noting that many great nations have exceptionalist viewpoints and tendencies.

    Over the course of the thread, one user posted a poem as a response to Rudyard Kipling's 'White Man's Burden', a sort of nod to American imperialism in the Philippines marking the US's transition from upstart colony to proper colonial power.

    The poem is extremely well-done, and I am in total awe at how perfectly it nails the response to Kipling. It can be found here:

    Ex-Conservative: The Judgment of Peers

    You'll note that the poem evokes the imagery of the great empires of the world judging America on its imperial capability -- and this imagery got me thinking about the empires of the past.

    So, Debate Politics, vote, for which you think the greatest empire in history was!"
    Oh, no, not really. The thread about American exceptionalism got me thinking about empires, due to the poem I linked, which does seem to regard the US as an empire.

    But I don't think the US should really be considered an empire -- you've only ever been halfhearted at it. The Philippines? Hawai'i? Puerto Rico? I think you could do better if you were really trying.

    Rather, I think the US sort of has this existential crisis, because it follows in Britain's footsteps thinking it has the best way forward for the world and that the world would be better off for it, but it's not really always willing to go the extra mile and actually start to administer far-off places like Iraq or Afghanistan.

    So I think it's in kind of a twilight zone regarding imperialism -- it definitely has the will and power to do so, but it doesn't really have the institutional capability or popular support for it.

  8. #48
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Empires confiscate, America liberates.
    Yes, you've done a great job liberating Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

    Anyway, that's a very simplistic way of viewing it. I think it's more nuanced to say the US has grown up too late to have really gotten into the imperialism game, and as a consequence is somewhat scared of the prospects, as it doesn't really have the institutional capability to deal with imperialism.

  9. #49
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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Empires confiscate, America liberates.
    I don't know I think given your world military presence and the level that the NSA listen to its allies you could make the arguement that America is the world's hegemony.
    ‘This is not peace, it is an armistice for 20 years.’ (Ferdinand Foch. After the Treaty of Versailles, 1919).

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    Re: The Greatest Empire in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Yes, you've done a great job liberating Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

    Anyway, that's a very simplistic way of viewing it. I think it's more nuanced to say the US has grown up too late to have really gotten into the imperialism game, and as a consequence is somewhat scared of the prospects, as it doesn't really have the institutional capability to deal with imperialism.
    Neither were taken by force.

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