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Old 06-26-2021, 05:20 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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The fate of empires

THE FATE OF EMPIRES
and
SEARCH FOR SURVIVAL
Sir John Glubb


Anybody ever read this?

Just reviving an old book that is relative to our generation.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:20 PM
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Re: The fate of empires

John Bagot Glubb was born in 1897, his father being a regular officer in the Royal Engineers.
At the age of four he left England for Mauritius, where his father was posted for a three-year
tour of duty. At the age of ten he was sent to school for a year in Switzerland. These youthful
travels may have opened his mind to the outside world at an early age.
He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in September 1914, and was
commissioned in the Royal Engineers in April 1915. He served throughout the first World War
in France and Belgium, being wounded three times and awarded the Military Cross. In 1920 he
volunteered for service in Iraq, as a regular officer, but in 1926 resigned his commission and
accepted an administrative post under the Iraq Government.
In 1930, however, he signed a contract to serve the Transjordan Government (now Jordan).
From 1939 to 1956 he commanded the famous Jordan Arab Legion, which was in reality the
Jordan Army. Since his retirement he has published seventeen books, chiefly on the Middle
East, and has lectured widely in Britain, the United States and Europe.
William Blackwood & Sons Ltd
32 Thistle Street
Edinburgh EH1 1HA
Scotland
© J. B. G. Ltd, 1976, 1977
ISBN 0
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:21 PM
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Re: The fate of empires

Introduction
As we pass through life, we learn by
experience. We look back on our behaviour
when we were young and think how foolish
we were. In the same way our family, our
community and our town endeavour to avoid
the mistakes made by our predecessors.
The experiences of the human race have
been recorded, in more or less detail, for
some four thousand years. If we attempt to
study such a period of time in as many
countries as possible, we seem to discover
the same patterns constantly repeated under
widely differing conditions of climate,
culture and religion. Surely, we ask
ourselves, if we studied calmly and
impartially the history of human institutions
and development over these four thousand
years, should we not reach conclusions
which would assist to solve our problems
today? For everything that is occurring
around us has happened again and again
before.
No such conception ever appears to have
entered into the minds of our historians. In
general, historical teaching in schools is
limited to this small island. We endlessly
mull over the Tudors and the Stewarts, the
Battle of Crecy, and Guy Fawkes. Perhaps
this narrowness is due to our examination
system, which necessitates the careful
definition of a syllabus which all children
must observe.
I remember once visiting a school for
mentally handicapped children. “Our
children do not have to take examinations,"
the headmaster told me,” and so we are able
to teach them things which will be really
useful to them in life."
However this may be, the thesis which I
wish to propound is that priceless lessons
could be learned if the history of the past
four thousand years could be thoroughly and
impartially studied. In these two articles,
which first appeared in Blackwood’s
Magazine, I have attempted briefly to sketch
some of the kinds of lessons which I believe
we could learn. My plea is that history
should be the history of the human race, not
of one small country or period.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:22 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

The Fate of Empires
I Learning from history
‘The only thing we learn from history,’ it
has been said, ‘is that men never learn from
history’, a sweeping generalisation perhaps,
but one which the chaos in the world today
goes far to confirm. What then can be the
reason why, in a society which claims to
probe every problem, the bases of history are
still so completely unknown?
Several reasons for the futility of our
historical studies may be suggested.
First, our historical work is limited to short
periods—the history of our own country, or
that of some past age which, for some
reason, we hold in respect.
Second, even within these short periods,
the slant we give to our narrative is governed
by our own vanity rather than by objectivity.
If we are considering the history of our own
country, we write at length of the periods
when our ancestors were prosperous and
victorious, but we pass quickly over their
shortcomings or their defeats. Our people
are represented as patriotic heroes, their
enemies as grasping imperialists, or
subversive rebels. In other words, our
national histories are propaganda, not wellbalanced
investigations.
Third, in the sphere of world history, we
study certain short, usually unconnected,
periods, which fashion at certain epochs has
made popular. Greece 500 years before
Christ, and the Roman Republic and early
Roman Empire are cases in point. The
intervals between the ‘great periods’ are
neglected. Recently Greece and Rome have
become largely discredited, and history tends
to become increasingly the parochial history
of our own countries.
To derive any useful instruction from
history, it seems to me essential first of all to
grasp the principle that history, to be
meaningful, must be the history of the
human race. For history is a continuous
process, gradually developing, changing and
turning back, but in general moving forward
in a single mighty stream. Any useful lessons
to be derived must be learned by the study of
the whole flow of human development, not
by the selection of short periods here and
there in one country or another.
Every age and culture is derived from its
predecessors, adds some contribution of its
own, and passes it on to its successors. If we
boycott various periods of history, the
origins of the new cultures which succeeded
them cannot be explained.
_______________________________
Sir John Glubb, better known as Glubb
Pasha, was born in 1897, and served in
France in the First World War from 1915 to
1918. In 1926 he left the regular army to
serve the Iraq Government. From 1939 to
1956, he commanded the famous Jordan
Arab Legion. Since retirement, he has
published sixteen books, chiefly on the
Middle East, and has lectured widely.
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WHO IS BREXIT AND IS HE A TRINITARIAN?- James LeDeay 10/30/16


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Old 06-26-2021, 05:26 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

Just a couple pages to whet the appetite.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:29 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

The average age of an empire, according to this author, is 250 years.

That would put the end of this fair republic at 2026.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:32 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

The Fate of Empires

Page 2

Physical science has expanded its knowledge by building on the work of its predecessors, and by making millions of careful experiments, the results of which are meticulously recorded. Such methods have not yet been employed in the study of world history. Our piecemeal historical work is still mainly dominated by emotion and prejudice.

II The lives of empires

If we desire to ascertain the laws which govern the rise and fall of empires, the obvious course is to investigate the imperial
experiments recorded in history, and to endeavour to deduce from them any lessons which seem to be applicable to them all.
The word ‘empire’, by association with the British Empire, is visualised by some people as an organisation consisting of a homecountry in Europe and ‘colonies’ in other continents. In this essay, the term ‘empire’ is used to signify a great power, often called today a superpower. Most of the empires in history have been large landblocks, almost without overseas possessions.

We possess a considerable amount of information on many empires recorded in history, and of their vicissitudes and the
lengths of their lives, for example:

The nation Dates of rise and fall Duration in years
Assyria 859-612 B.C. 247
Persia 538-330 B.C. 208
(Cyrus and his descendants)
Greece 331-100 B.C. 231
(Alexander and his successors)
Roman Republic 260-27 B.C. 233
Roman Empire 27 B.C.-A.D. 180 207
Arab Empire A.D. 634-880 246
Mameluke Empire 1250-1517 267
Ottoman Empire 1320-1570 250
Spain 1500-1750 250
Romanov Russia 1682-1916 234
Britain 1700-1950 250
This list calls for certain comments.
(1) The present writer is exploring the facts, not trying to prove anything. The dates given are largely arbitrary. Empires do not usually begin or end on a certain date. There is normally a gradual period of expansion and then a period of decline. The resemblance in the duration of these great powers may be queried. Human affairs are subject to many chances, and it is not to be expected that they
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Last edited by Monterrey; 06-26-2021 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:34 PM
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Re: The fate of empires

XXXIX Summary
As numerous points of interest have arisen
in the course of this essay, I close with a brief
summary, to refresh the reader’s mind.
(a) We do not learn from history because
our studies are brief and prejudiced.
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years
emerges as the average length of national
greatness.
(c) This average has not varied for 3,000
years. Does it represent ten generations?
(d) 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.
(e) Decadence is marked by:
Defensiveness
Pessimism
Materialism
Frivolity
An influx of foreigners
The Welfare State
A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are
amazingly similar, and are due to internal
factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are
largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history
of the human race, though of course with
emphasis on the history of the student’s own
country.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:56 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

Im having trouble finding links to I might just print here in order.
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:07 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: The fate of empires

The Fate of Empires

Page 3

could be calculated with mathematical accuracy.

(2) Nevertheless, it is suggested that there is sufficient resemblance between the life
periods of these different empires to justify further study.
(3) The division of Rome into two periods may be thought unwarranted. The first, or
republican, period dates from the time when Rome became the mistress of Italy, and ends with the accession of Augustus. The imperial period extends from the accession of
Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius. It is true that the empire survived nominally
for more than a century after this date, but it did so in constant confusion, rebellions, civil wars and barbarian invasions.
(4) Not all empires endured for their full lifespan. The Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, for example, was overthrown by Cyrus, after a life duration of only some seventy-four years.
(5) An interesting deduction from the figures seems to be that the duration of empires
does not depend on the speed of travel or the nature of weapons. The Assyrians marched on foot and fought with spears and bow and arrows. The British used artillery, railways and ocean-going ships. Yet the two empires lasted for approximately the same periods.
There is a tendency nowadays to say that this is the jet-age, and consequently there is
nothing for us to learn from past empires. Such an attitude seems to be erroneous.
(6) It is tempting to compare the lives of empires with those of human beings. We
may choose a figure and say that the average life of a human being is seventy years. Not all human beings live exactly seventy years. Some die in infancy, others are killed in
accidents in middle life, some survive to the age of eighty or ninety. Nevertheless, in spite of such exceptions, we are justified in saying that seventy years is a fair estimate of the average person’s expectation of life.
(7) We may perhaps at this stage be allowed to draw certain conclusions:
(a) In spite of the accidents of fortune, andthe apparent circumstances of the human
race at different epochs, the periods ofduration of different empires at varied
epochs show a remarkable similarity.
(b) Immense changes in the technology of transport or in methods of warfare do not
seem to affect the life-expectation of an empire.
(c) The changes in the technology of transport and of war have, however, affected the
shape of empires. The Assyrians, marching on foot, could only conquer their neighbours, who were accessible by land—the Medes, the Babylonians, the Persians and
the Egyptians. The British, making use of ocean-going ships, conquered many countries and subcontinents, which were accessible to them by water—North America, India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand—but they never succeeded in conquering their
neighbours, France, Germany and Spain. But, although the shapes of the Assyrian
and the British Empires were entirely different, both lasted about the same
length of time.
III The human yardstick
What then, we may ask, can have been the factor which caused such an extraordinary
similarity in the duration of empires, under such diverse conditions, and such utterly
different technological achievements?
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