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The US: Roman Empire 2 - Research Paper Example

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THE U.S. - ROMAN EMPIRE 2? (History repeats itself) Name of Student (author) Name of University (affiliation) Introduction The United States of America is the remaining military superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War era…
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Download file to see previous pages Ancient civilizations like those of India, China, Egypt and Persia suffered the same fate, which as they say, eventually got confined to the dust bin of history. A recent example is of China, which was a dominant regional economic, political, and military power for the last two thousand years, except for the two centuries under which it was conquered by Western powers; it also coincided with that period in world history when America was ascendant. America is now in a crisis, suffering from a host of problems associated with its sheer size. This paper discusses the similarities of the America of today and the Late Roman Empire (circa A.D. 250-450) by series of developments, events, and portents which point to an America that is on a downward path. Discussion There are many events and developments, both on the domestic front of America and in other parts of the world, which point to America being on the decline, a slow descent that is often hard to detect or discern because these events are seemingly not related, but when viewed on the whole, form a pattern reminiscent of what happened to the late Roman Empire when it went into eclipse from its preeminent position of power and prestige. These events will be detailed below. a. Loss of central authority - there is no unity in the government between Congress and the president. Although the U. S. constitution mandates a separation of powers between its three branches of government, the impasse between the executive and legislative branches as shown by a current political gridlock in Congress prevents the United States from pursuing substantive reforms to regain competitiveness. This is exemplified by the high budget and trade deficits that in turn cause the so-called “fiscal cliff” issue. Any government always needs a strong leader in power to pursue government agenda effectively but an adversarial atmosphere in Congress today makes reforms very difficult to achieve. America before had strong presidents in its history, with the wise and prudent use of executive power to break any political paralysis as what is happening today. The office of the United States president had seen its powers being clipped or limited by a partisan Congress which cannot agree on many important policy decisions. Pres. Obama and his successor presidents must exercise strong leadership to reverse this decline, if ever. The Late Roman empire had a succession of weak emperors in the centuries immediately preceding its own demise; at times, there were not only one emperor at once, but two (in the West and East). b. High rates of taxation – America has a high rate of income taxes, enough to make its citizens flee to other countries, and also discourages investments and innovations. However, it is reported that the top 1% of income earners still managed to increase their wealth, which is also similar to that in the Roman Empire when the elites subsisted on high taxes imposed on general population. Moreover, high taxes resulted in vast tracts of land under the Roman Empire to be left fallow, because poor and subsistence farmers could no longer afford to pay the taxes. This in turn led to an economic decline in trade and industry, resulting into a much lower tax collection. c. Granting citizenship to everybody – the American identity has changed drastically in the last few decades due to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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