Blog post#4 – What is the explanation for why the superpowers are this strong today?

Today is the second research round for my inquiry project, my question is “What is the explanation for why the superpowers are this strong today?”. And for this round of research, the topic is” Research “Past” superpowers in the world, like the Mongolian empire, Egyptian empire, the British empire, etc… How did they fall? What did they do wrong? Or did they get demolished by a surprise attack? Did they trust the wrong neighbours?

First, today I will mainly focus on the 5 ancient civilizations, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient China. Although some might argue that Egypt and China still exist, it is way different from the civilization before, and many essential parts of the culture were lost along the flow of time.

Mesopotamia was the earliest civilization that is ever recorded, and the real reason for its collapse is long lost in the wind of history, so here is my guess for how it happened based on my research. Mesopotamia’s fall can be blamed on the incompetence of the ruling government, and the environmental issues back then. (1) The government had gone lazy and incompetent, not caring about its citizens, and not successfully defending its cities and fortresses. And overall, they just did not have that great of a ruling system that is strong and competent enough to rule all of its citizens fairly and make everyone happy. There were strong winter winds, called shamals, and to add upon that, periods before the collapse of the empire, the region received almost no rainfall at all, although they are living close to the river, it didn’t help enough to keep the crops growing and keep the city under prosperity. (2) Eventually, the citizens and the rulers decided it is no longer desirable to live there and abandoned the place, and the place never had any more big settlers until 300 years later. (1)

Babylon, although it could be argued that Babylon is to be considered a part of the Mesopotamia civilization. Although true, Babylon had its own Babylonian empire, which is one of the greatest ancient civilizations. (3) The fall of Babylon is very much similar to that of Mesopotamia, where the kingdom eventually collapsed with generations of indecent ruling and incompetent kings. But the base of the kingdom was so strong it was still holding off, until when it lost a series of wars with Assyria, where its power plumped greatly, directly causing it to become a puppet of Assyria. (3)  Under the rule of the Assyrian kingdom for another 22 years, a civil war broke out in Assyria, enabling the Babylonian empire to arise again. (4)

Indus Valley, like all the other ancient civilizations, is also in Asia, and it is also near a major river. The fall of the Indus Valley is believed to be caused by environmental changes in the area, when the Saraswati River dried up, everything started to go down hills for the environments in the Indus Valley, where it was very hard for people to plant plants and eventually people migrated towards other places in chasing of the good climate and water. (5)

Ancient Egypt is one of the most famous ancient civilizations, most known for the pyramids and statues of Egyptian gods. The fall of the Egyptian Empire was complicated and slow. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and so was the fall of the Egyptian Empire, small problems slowly built up and lead to the collapse of the renowned Empire. (6) It all started with a big draught, at first it was nothing, as they all lived close to the Nile River, but not having a lot of rainfall put a dent in their economy every year, and it did build up to a large amount, as the draught had lasted for centuries on end. (6) And as time passed by, settlers from other regions came seeking a place to settle, which had started a big conflict with the Egyptian empire, and along with an economic crisis caused by both the draught and the conflict, it finally bought down the Ancient Egypt Empire to the ground. The fallen empire remained undiscovered until when Napoleon was sent to Egypt.

Ancient China is one of the most famous ancient civilizations, most known for the 4 Great Inventions, Paper, Printing, Gunpowder, and Compass. The fall of ancient China can be debatable, as there wasn’t any lost period of time where the country went non-existent or lost its culture. However, I will talk about the fall of the Chinese Dynasties, when the Qing Dynasty collapsed, China was in very bad shape, where the corrupt and incompetent king had signed countless unequal treaties with other countries. (7) Qing Dynasty had undergone a lot of serious crises unseen by any other Dynasties before, and they were not able to handle it, causing the collapse of the Dynasty, which was then replaced with the Republic of China. (8) For instance, the overflow of opium from aboard, the uprising amount of bandits across the land, and the unsatisfied citizens…

For the next blog post, I will be researching the relationships behind the “Today” superpowers and “Past” superpowers. Were they the same country? Were they close to each other? Or were they eternal enemies with each other?




One Reply to “Blog post#4 – What is the explanation for why the superpowers are this strong today?”

  1. Hi Scott ,
    I found your blogpost very interesting as its not the type of thing i know much about.I liked how clear and concise your writing is and how it was easy to understand that the fall of these ancient civilizations is mostly due to incompetent kings or governments.Here are some links that could help you in your research! good luck!

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