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Is each age blessed or doomed with the presence of an empire?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Pre modern Empires
    1. Empires founded on military force
    2. The values of empires
  3. New sort of Empire
    1. The American Declaration of Independence
    2. The native population and their religion
  4. The ambiguity about the US
  5. The declared aim of the American Empire
    1. The paradox between the promotion of freedom and imposed global order
    2. The development of a new type of imperial racism
  6. Conclusion: Military domination, commercial expansion, economic and cultural supremacy

?Veni, vidi, vici...?[I came, I saw, I conquered] Julius Caesar. This quote from one of the most famous Roman generals reflects the principle of a major phenomenon in international relations: empires, a phenomenon which dates back as far as 2334 BC with the reign of Sargon of Akkad, and which has progressively led to the globalized world of the present day. The term 'empire' comes from the Latin imperare meaning 'supreme rule or absolute power'. However, although the primary aim of an Empire is to gain power, empires always aspire to something greater: a new international order under their control and reflecting their values, which may sometimes prove beneficial for their acquired territories. Is each age doomed (or blessed?) with the existence of one major imperial power? As the foundations of power evolve, so will the nature of the Imperial powers. Our study of empires will focus on three main sets of Imperial powers: the pre-modern empires, the modern empires and finally post-modern empire. We will argue that although each era saw the rise of a major Imperial power, and sometimes benefited from its presence, the implementation of power by definition implies the subjugation of other peoples. Most empires attempt to legitimise their domination: however the basis of territorial expansion remains the attack on the fundamental right to freedom and selfdetermination.

[...] The status of The US is ambiguous: George Bush (43rd President of US (1946 - claimed: ?America has never been an empire. We may be the only great power in history that had the chance, and refused preferring greatness to power and justice to glory.? However, according to the definition of empires given by in Empires, Systems and States: ?inclusive systems of order organised around a dominant state whose role is accepted as being quite indispensable to the functioning of the system as a whole? , the US clearly embody a powerful empire. [...]

[...] This is notably true in the case of the British Empire and the notion of an Anglo-Saxon race. Joseph Chamberlain, then secretary of State for the colonies at the turn of the century, expressed a view shared by many I believe the British race is the greatest of governing races the world has ever seen?. Had this notion of supremacy led to the spread of European advances in civilisation and trade, it might have had some positive effects. However, whereas an empire aims at supra-national 2 governance through the integration of its members , this form of colonisation promotes separateness and inequality. [...]

[...] A new sort of Empire emerged during and after the 15th Century, often defined as Imperialism and associated with colonialism. This is representative of the evolution of the status of power. Although military power was still significant within Europe, expansion overseas went hand in hand with the development of trade and capitalism. It can be said there were two major phases in this type of imperialism . First from 1492-1763, where most of the Western hemisphere and most of Asia came under European control. [...]

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