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Like most nations in both the present and in the past, there is a country or empire that always seems to be at war with each other. In the case of the Roman Republic, that empire turns out to be the Carthaginians. These wars became labeled as the Punic Wars, and in total there were three Punic Wars all spanning over a timeframe of 100+ years. Many historians agree that these wars were probably the largest wars to have ever taken place in that time period, much like the two World Wars in our modern times. The Punic Wars prove to be important in the transformation of Rome, both physically and economically because it allowed the Romans to conquer the Western Carthage Empire, which as a result gave Rome control of the whole Western Mediterranean Sea. Thus giving room room to expand their already growing empire with new territory, but also through the many different trade routes open to them with surrounding countries.
The Punic Wars took place in the years 264 B.C. and 146 B.C., spanning a time period of over 118 years. In total there were three Punic Wars, which were all fought between the Empires of Carthage and Rome for the role reasoning of gaining more territory, whether it be for military or economic reasons. The first Punic war began with a dispute of the ownership of the strategic islands of Sicily and Corsica and ended with Rome being victories. The second war began after an invasion of Italy and ended with Rome owning the whole Western Empire of Carthage. Lastly, the third war ended with Rome taking full control of Carthage and making it one of many nations Rome has conquered. These Punic Wars helped transform Rome economically because it opened up trade in the Mediterranean. The Carthaginians were expert merchants and very knowledgeable, however after their defeat by Rome, the whole Western Mediterranean Sea was left open for the Romans to buy/trade/sell. This allowed for the Roman Republic to dominate the trade market and also allowed for the Roman takeover of Greece, because the Greeks were too busy trying to overtake each other that they did not notice Rome’s attempts to assert its dominance power.
The Punic Wars have one main reason for being fought, and that is the power hungry leaders that once ruled Rome under its ever expanding Empire. The Romans have planned and were interested in the expansion of their Empire though Sicily, which was also a strategic military advantage point. However, there was one problem, and that is that Sicily was under the control of the Carthaginians, so naturally the two empires went to war. In the end, Rome had come out victorious and had conquered Carthage’s Empire, and is well on its way of becoming the most powerful Empire of the Western Mediterranean. After Rome had gained supremacy in the Western Mediterranean, they kept on invading other countries such as Greece and other African states at the time. Thus starting a chain-reaction until the eventual collapse of Rome when they couldn’t afford to keep their authority figure on any one country but their own. Lastly, this also caused a rupture in Roman Society. Where the rich only got richer and the poor only got poorer. Thus creating a time of turmoil and political instability which lead to Rome being plagued with riots and civil wars between the politicians and the citizens or even the politicians vs the politicians.
In today’s terms, an empire is several countries or nations who were once lead by their own leader, but have now been grouped together into one large country and is lead by only one political leader. In other words, an empire is the country or nation who is the strongest and most influential nation at any given time. So, yes the United States is an empire and fits into the categories of being the strongest and most influential in both economic and military terms. The United States is an empire in economic terms through business because many multinational businesses and foreign currencies rely on the U.S. dollar to keep their value up. In other words, the US Dollar can be said to be the “gold standard” of modern business. On the other hand, the United States is an Empire through military because it’s military stretches in all four directions, North, South, East, and West with over 700 military installations all around the world. The United States has been an empire since its inception and its thirst for the gaining of power and territory. Meaning that that United States has been and will always be an empire, that is until its eventual decline/fall when it can no longer financially support itself.
The Punic Wars were important to the militaristic and economic transformation of Rome because it gave them access to the whole Western Mediterranean Sea, which in turn gave them the opportunity to expand, conquer, and trade with surrounding countries.
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