If you read history, as we often do, one is amazed at how the current situation with America parallels the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
Rome was much more resilient and vigorous than America, and lasted approximately 1,000 years. America is only 238 years old. Rome, before the Caesars, had a period as a Republic, and then morphed into a monarchy with the Caesars, who actually became thought of as gods. Rome and America are history’s only two examples of a Republic. America is a constitutional Republic.
Rome grew over a period of 400 to 500, actually 700 years, if you count its formative period when it was small, prior to the birth of Christ, and under the emperors from about 100 A.D. to 250 A.D. the empire peaked, in prosperity and geographical size; during that period, the greatest period of prosperity took hold, and mankind had never seen a more prosperous, peaceful period in its entire history. The Pax Romana was one of the reason’s Christianity spread so fast; roads and communication between regions was readily available.
When Rome conquered Britain, beginning in 55 B.C. with Caesar’s foray, its management of that portion of the world, on the edge of civilization, saw the standard of living rise in the British Isles to a peak that was not reached again until the Victorian Era in the 1800s in England. Roman British homes had indoor plumbing and, believe it or not, some had central heating. Roman British subjects were literate in Latin and kept meticulous records.
The small towns in what would later become England prospered as Rome left them alone, unless they didn’t pay their taxes. They would then hear from their Roman masters. Many Roman soldiers married British ladies and retired in the Isles. When Christ was born, the world was enveloped in a Pax Romana that brought peace and prosperity to most of the known world at that time, under Octavian Augustus.
After reaching such heights of prosperity, Rome collapsed in only about 150 years, from 300 A.D. to 450 A.D.
Historians still argue over the Why, but there are some reasons one can point to.
Corruption was systemic, among the rulers and the upper crust, especially; it also seeped into the middle class, the yeoman farmer, who was the foundation of the empire and who eventually gave up hope of things being set right by Rome’s ruling class; corruption extended throughout the economic and governmental system.
America’s founding fathers were familiar with what happened to Rome and many predicted the American Republic could not last without a morale people and would collapse into a dictatorship if the people became corrupt and dishonest. Some even said that without the influences of Christianity, or a benign religion, the Republic would be doomed. Only a morale people can rule themselves, they said.
A disintegration of its borders, a classic cause; Rome, like America is doing right now, lost control of its borders, and the uncultured and uneducated barbarians poured into the empire, and eventually sacked the City of Rome itself.
Destruction of the prosperous middle class, through corruption and heavy taxation; they were literally taxed out of existence; they turned to “bread and circuses”, as escapism, sank into a “don’t give a crap attitude” and gave up; that is happening to many Americans as we speak.
America right now is besieged by so many crises that it is actually hard to keep up with them, and if you do keep up with them, you’ll sink into a classic depression, which can only be cured by ignoring the news reports.
America, under this President, has withdrawn from its leadership role in the international arena, and it remains to be seen where this will lead. It won’t be pretty.
In the 1930s, our experience with Hitler and Germany and the Japanese taught us that we ignore the happenings in the international arena at our own peril.
Unless the American people and its leadership can shake off the ennui we find ourselves in, we think matters will grow worse and not better. We hope we are wrong, but we will see, shortly.by