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View Poll Results: Rise an Fall -Accurate or Plain Wrong?

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Old 02-01-2014, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Spicing this section up with a psuedo intellectual debate, but it will probably bomb, oh well.

Anyways, the Historian Paul Kennedy sees history, and the Great Nations within it, governed by peaks and troughs, a power experiences a rise, through growth in economic might and then sees itself decline, often through overstretch, whether that be in a millitary or financial field. This seems pretty clear to me as a wonderfully simple but accurate summation. I would fully agree, do you?

Any other historical thoughts or debates you'd like to discuss

btw I'd fully recommend the book, easy to read and don't be put off by the length, the 500 years of history goes by like a breeze.
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As for Mugray, what can be said? A disgusting human being, and awful player, and a choking pushing mug. He looks like a kemo patient, bald spots, hairless legs, pasty blotchy skin, busted teeth, and an ugly, snarling face. Typical antics all came out in this match: faking injuries, grimacing and cursing, trying to peg Fed, trying to start drama, undeserved final based on an exhausted old man and a joke draw.

I'm no Fakervic fan but he needs to save tennis, sadly tree trunk legs will be fresh. Interesting he's never questioned...
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

I'd love a good debate on the subject but I haven't read the book. The peaks and troughs thing is virtually indisputable in a balance of power sense, but overall Great Britain, for example, is in a better place than it was 120 years ago despite the loss of it's empire because of general cultural and social progress - higher living standards, emancipation of women etc.

To be honest, the idea that states decline through overstretch seems logical but in a sense fairly useless because most things could be attributed to military or financial reasons. Is it more a narrative history with the undertone of his theory, or an open challenge to existing work?

Again, I must emphasise that I haven't read the book, so my perspective on his theory of overstretching may be distorted because I am not fully aware of the nuances of his definition.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Liechtenstein will rise.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Empires generally last about 250 years. The pattern is seen throughout history.



The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be:

The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
The Age of Conquests
The Age of Commerce
The Age of Affluence
The Age of Intellect
The Age of Decadence.

Decadence is marked by:
Defensiveness
Pessimism
Materialism
Frivolity
An influx of foreigners
The Welfare State
A weakening of religion.

Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.




It's a good read:
http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.
RIP Modern Western world.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Commodus should be ashamed of himself. What an epic fail post 180 AD

Though Roman Empire was the most powerful state in Europe till 4th century, the end of Constantine reign in 337 sealed the deal imo.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

I think the real question will be.... who will fall first?

China or America?

America has been (more) in power, quote in quote, arguably post civil war. America became apart of the global market post civil war and was able to oust all European powers from the American territories.

Come WW1, America played a major role in success of the war and it became the dominant force in the 20th century.

Fastforward to 2014 and most of the EU is in shambles and in financial crisis.

China is peaking and has the U.S. in major debt (around 17 trillion). At the same time both nations have the largest military and access to to nuclear weapons.

The China/U.S. relations are shaky at best and I don't know how long this truce will last.

Your thoughts???
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

China has a lot of problems that haven't shown themselves yet, in terms of demographics and economy.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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I'd love a good debate on the subject but I haven't read the book. The peaks and troughs thing is virtually indisputable in a balance of power sense, but overall Great Britain, for example, is in a better place than it was 120 years ago despite the loss of it's empire because of general cultural and social progress - higher living standards, emancipation of women etc.

To be honest, the idea that states decline through overstretch seems logical but in a sense fairly useless because most things could be attributed to military or financial reasons. Is it more a narrative history with the undertone of his theory, or an open challenge to existing work?

Again, I must emphasise that I haven't read the book, so my perspective on his theory of overstretching may be distorted because I am not fully aware of the nuances of his definition.
Of course Kennedy stress, and so must we as historians that despite a decline of hard power GB culturally and socio-economically undoubtedly vastly advanced and is continuing to advance post ww2. For its people is far more palatable to focus domestically than to maintain a needless empire and sustaining crumbling standards of living at home.

As for his idea, it is indeed fairly safe in my opinion, but using it he was able to, in the late 80s prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union accurately predict the future of world geopolitics right up to today, aside from the anomaly that is Japan's past 23 years or so, with their property slump and deflationary pressures.
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As for Mugray, what can be said? A disgusting human being, and awful player, and a choking pushing mug. He looks like a kemo patient, bald spots, hairless legs, pasty blotchy skin, busted teeth, and an ugly, snarling face. Typical antics all came out in this match: faking injuries, grimacing and cursing, trying to peg Fed, trying to start drama, undeserved final based on an exhausted old man and a joke draw.

I'm no Fakervic fan but he needs to save tennis, sadly tree trunk legs will be fresh. Interesting he's never questioned...
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Found this a couple of days ago, always a controversial topic so feel free to weigh in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26048324
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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Found this a couple of days ago, always a controversial topic so feel free to weigh in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26048324
great article which I haven't had time to fully read as of yet but I'll give my thoughts briefly.

I tend to agree with Hastings, Germany wanted war in 1914, it makes sense for them to push the Balkans into a state of conflict, they felt hemmed in by the European status quo and were growing increasingly fearful of the vast growth of Russia.

A Key factor at the time was railways, which dictated troop mobilisation speed and flexibility, Russias was backward but rapidly expanding, by 1917 the German high command reportedly feared it would be too late, and they would be overwhelmed on two fronts should they choose war. Thats why they sized on 1914.

As for GB, interesting to note that Ireland, and therefore the Union, was almost at the point of collapse in the summer of 1914, it was convenient for the Liberal government to put these issues to one side and concentrate on war instead. One could argue a clearer position in favour of belgium's neutrality would've maybe caused the Germans to think twice but I doubt it. It wasn't until 1916 that the British started to significantly partake in heavy fighting on the Western Front, the BEF was just 100,000 strong, certainly in the short term I doubt the Germans expected the British could do much. As they expected a short term war they took the risk.

As it was British contribution to WW1 is far greater than even WW2.
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As for Mugray, what can be said? A disgusting human being, and awful player, and a choking pushing mug. He looks like a kemo patient, bald spots, hairless legs, pasty blotchy skin, busted teeth, and an ugly, snarling face. Typical antics all came out in this match: faking injuries, grimacing and cursing, trying to peg Fed, trying to start drama, undeserved final based on an exhausted old man and a joke draw.

I'm no Fakervic fan but he needs to save tennis, sadly tree trunk legs will be fresh. Interesting he's never questioned...
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

I think the WW2 motivations interesting as well. Britain and France enter the war to defend Poland, yet don't care when Poland is occupied by another regime (the Soviets).
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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Empires generally last about 250 years. The pattern is seen throughout history.


The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be:

The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
The Age of Conquests
The Age of Commerce
The Age of Affluence
The Age of Intellect
The Age of Decadence.
OK, there are two patterns, not one. One is called "colonial" empire, that is, the empire growing mostly over overseas territory. Like UK, France, Spain. And another type is continental empires - like Greece, Rome, Russia/USSR, USA.

The patterns are really different.
Colonial Empires are much more defined by their real metropolitan potential, and once that is getting overwhelmed by demands of maintaining the overseas order, they disintegrate.

Continental empires is a different matter. The cycle there, that I see is:


1. Chaos. No central power. Not even rudimentary.
2. Centralization. Few territories centralize over some core interests and start to dictate to weaker neighbors, eventually seizing them
3. Growth and prosperity. This is a prime time of empire. It grows, central power is iron strong, it's able to provide its citizens with some prosperity. It's feared and respected
4. "Liberals". Empire decides that it can afford some liberalization, allowing some extra freedoms at expense of central power. "Liberals" use those freedoms do demand more and more, weakening the central power even further
5. "Barbarians". As it's always the case, "liberals" only open the door to "barbarians", those who don't care about empire, its traditions, its culture and even existance.
6, "Disintegration". "Barbarians" tear empire down.
7. Chaos

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Old 02-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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Originally Posted by TigerTim View Post
Spicing this section up with a psuedo intellectual debate, but it will probably bomb, oh well.

Anyways, the Historian Paul Kennedy sees history, and the Great Nations within it, governed by peaks and troughs, a power experiences a rise, through growth in economic might and then sees itself decline, often through overstretch, whether that be in a millitary or financial field. This seems pretty clear to me as a wonderfully simple but accurate summation. I would fully agree, do you?

Any other historical thoughts or debates you'd like to discuss

btw I'd fully recommend the book, easy to read and don't be put off by the length, the 500 years of history goes by like a breeze.
I am actually reading this book right now and to be honest, I am not so pleasantly surprised with how fast and superficially he covers the different periods... I am on page 200, during the 1880-1900 years, and while it is instructional to have all the tables with different population numbers, steel production, energy consumption, railroad mileage and so on, I think he relies too heavily on those hard statistics and too little on the human and society factor... it is a very interesting book nonetheless, just not as detailed as I expected it to be... the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, for example, was discussed in few pages and the Austrian-Prussian war was only mentioned as almost an afterthought...
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: The History Thread (?) and the Rise and Fall of Great Powers

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I am actually reading this book right now and to be honest, I am not so pleasantly surprised with how fast and superficially he covers the different periods... I am on page 200, during the 1880-1900 years, and while it is instructional to have all the tables with different population numbers, steel production, energy consumption, railroad mileage and so on, I think he relies too heavily on those hard statistics and too little on the human and society factor... it is a very interesting book nonetheless, just not as detailed as I expected it to be... the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, for example, was discussed in few pages and the Austrian-Prussian war was only mentioned as almost an afterthought...
Agree, his coverage of pre ww1 history is limited and I find that the most interesting part of the book. Perhaps he could have split the history into chunks, but I get the feeling that sales wise that would have impacted its performance.
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Murray could shit in front of me I would still rim his ass til Jesus comes!!
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As for Mugray, what can be said? A disgusting human being, and awful player, and a choking pushing mug. He looks like a kemo patient, bald spots, hairless legs, pasty blotchy skin, busted teeth, and an ugly, snarling face. Typical antics all came out in this match: faking injuries, grimacing and cursing, trying to peg Fed, trying to start drama, undeserved final based on an exhausted old man and a joke draw.

I'm no Fakervic fan but he needs to save tennis, sadly tree trunk legs will be fresh. Interesting he's never questioned...
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