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The American Empire


needs practice

I just watched a cool Top 10 video, counting down the top ten world empires. See it here.

Do you agree with it? But what is really interesting, at the end it asks the viewer "Where do you think the American empire falls?" This had me thinking...because I'd never really thought of my home country as an "empire." I think more of history textbooks and conquering and imperialism. While the USA has done all that - I guess I just don't reflect a modern day country that I live in, buy groceries, go clubbing in to fit this type of word, "empire." But I guess a lot can be said that yes, Americans are living in an empire. And some even think our empire is on the 'decline.' And, I would have to agree with that, but I hope that its decline is a century or two away, when I am well done with paying taxes for this "empire".


4 legs good 2 legs bad
Cool list. Unfortunately I don't know a great deal about history. It was never one of my favorite subjects in school, but as I've gotten older it's something I've gotten more interested in. I would love to study some of these empires.


Well-Known Member
I think the reason why many people don't see America as an empire is because we learn about all of these empires in school and they're all from a long time ago as far as these current generations are concerned. I wonder if people like Rome, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, or China considered themselves to be empires back when they were at the peak of their power.

In a sense America is an empire but at the same time, we aren't aiming to conquer and expand (at least not in the traditional sense).


I'm serious
Those are probably the only empires I know of, so I like that list. Interesting that they mentioned a couple of times how the empires demise was caused by it becoming too big, and therefore becoming more divided and uncontrollable.

Is America an empire? In the more modern sense, I would say so, yes.


Free Spirit
Staff member
Its hard to think of us as an empire but I guess in ways we are. Seems we are always in the middle of someone elses business but we seem to be dragged into it and we don't keep the country as our own.

The Mayans were in decline long before the Spanish arrived. I think they just finished them off.
The causes for the Maya's decline are numerous, but one of the central causes is that the demands they placed upon their environment grew beyond the capacity of the land. At it's peak, there were about 15 million people occupying the Mayan world. Over-population of Mayan metropolises are suspected to have gone beyond levels that the Mayan political and social networks were able to support, resulting in social unrest and revolution. Frequent skirmishes by warring clans, such as the Toltec invasion of Chichen Itza, are suspected to have forced the Mayan populace to flee their cities. Recent studies have discovered evidence of severe droughts, deforestation, and a decline in large game animals that began around 800 A.D., coinciding with a sharp drop in new construction. Human bones found from this time show signs of severe malnutrition, which would have been a driving factor behind raids. While Maya civilization did go through a brief renaissance after this period, ongoing environmental constraints played a large role in their eventual decline.

By the time the Spanish Conquistadors arrived, most of the large Mayan sites had been all but abandoned for hundreds of years. Most of their cities had fallen into ruin and were being overtaken by jungle. The Maya people had splintered into small villages and towns, losing the complex social strata and rituals that supported this great civilization at its apex.

Mayan Decline :: The Mayan Kingdom


needs practice
I'm very surprised they didn't include Spain as a TOP empire.
I mean, a whole continent is called LATIN America because of the nations' from the Iberian Peninusla....
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