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All through history, there have always been reports of the growth and development of empires. The Egyptian, Roman and Greek empires are but some of the greatest empires during medieval times (Haspeslagh, 2010). During the 16th and 17th century, the Spanish empire was one of the strongest empires in the world.
Later on, during the 19th and 20th century, the British Empire became the largest and strongest empire in the world (Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005).
Even at the present day and time, there are empires. However, the composition and operation of the current empires are somewhat different to those of ancient times. This essay shall thus compare and contrast ancient and modern empires in order to determine their similarities and differences.
Contemporary empires differ a lot in the manner in which they are constituted and operated (Hobsbawm, 2003). The modern world has become vast and almost everything is integrated. As a result, each and every action is dependent on many other factors and its overall outcome has the chance of affecting almost all aspects of life.
During the beginning of the 21st century, for instance, SARS, a respiratory disease that originates in China affected transport, communication, international relations, the global market and the entire economy of the world (Hobsbawm, 2003). This is because the world that we are living in currently is mainly dependent on globalisation.
Thus, a lot of operations other than political matters are conducted across the physical boundaries of nations (Hofstede, 2009). This globalisation is mainly dependent on technological advancement. Thus, many nations have adopted technology, which has been incorporated even into the military to ensure that states are able to defend their citizens and interests effectively and efficiently.
At the present moment, USA is the largest empire in the world. However, to achieve this, it has used relatively different tactics as compared to ancient empires (Hofstede, 2001). However, the manner in which the United States Empire is organized is quite different as compared to that of ancient empires like the British Empire during the 20th Century for instance.
USA is a vast nation comprising of individuals from different nationalities hence it has a universal purpose (Deusen et al, 2003). In addition, the empire comprises of a number of satellite states mainly in the west that have come into an alliance that has benefits from both ends thus it does not colonize its subjects.
Britain on the other hand is a small nation that mainly comprises of individuals from similar culture and backgrounds hence the British Empire had a British purpose. Despite that the British Empire comprised of approximately a quarter of the globe during the 20th century, all of these territories were actually acquired via colonization (Minkov, 2007).
However, the British did not control the world to achieve political or military supremacy. Instead, they control the world for economic reasons in order to get raw materials and convert them into finished products that were sold to developing countries at exorbitant prices (Alessio, 2010). The US Empire on the other hand mainly works hard to protect its internal interests (Hobsbawm, 2003).
During the 21st century, the US Empire has worked hard to protect its industries from external competition (Asenova et al, 2002). In addition, the nation also strives for arms power especially during the cold war. Thus, these two empires were based on the concept of globalization but had different interest (Jovanovic, 2011).
In history, several empires have been in existence. However, the manner in which ancient and current empires are constituted is quite different.
Despite the fact that both of these empires have been based on globalization, modern empires like the US Empire strive to achieve economic and military supremacy while ancient empires like the British Empire aimed at meeting their own interests that was economic sustainability. Therefore, both of these empires have some element of similarity and difference.
Alessio, D 2010, ‘Monopoly Imperialism: How Empires can be Bought or Leased’, Social Affairs Europe, Sage, London.
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