The Impact of The Past Empires on Today’s Politics and Sovereignty

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About this sample


Words: 1776 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Apr 30, 2020

Words: 1776|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Apr 30, 2020

Empires — large, philosophy polities that govern completely different people differently — have an extended history, compared with that the nation-state seems as a short-run formation with associate unsure future. Examining the trajectories of empires — their creations, conflicts, rivalries, successes, and failures — reminds of something that has gone unnoticed in the recent decades: that sovereignty within the past and in several areas nowadays is advanced, divided, layered, and organised on multiple innovation principles and practices. This text points to the numerous repertoires of power employed by empires as they extended management into culturally diverse regions. We tend to draw attention to tensions between incorporation and differentiation, to ways for managing native elites and alternative intermediaries, and to the competitions and conflicts among empires that formed world history from antiquity till the current. The author examines however the empires of the past have formed and influenced today’s politics and sovereignty. This article not solely describe the last decade of immerse polities but they try to give a reader a prevailing point of view which they connect to the development of the modern world to the arriving of the nation-state in the Europe and how it has groomed into the European union.

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Burbank and Cooper argue that the acquisition and maintenance of imperial power perpetually needed local-level intermediaries - people of influence drawn from a conquered society who enabled control from afar. The persistent hassle with intermediaries was that they had their own interests in mind. Their cooperation was perpetually contingent upon perceived edges, special concessions, and also the like. Intermediaries might ne’er be taken with no consideration. All empires thus had to seek out ways that to incentivize each cooperation and subordination. Hence imperial power demanded the careful manipulation of what Burbank and Cooper talk to as a "politics of difference" – the way of accommodating competitor interests and ultimately of "governing different people differently". Techniques for doing this varied markedly. Burbank and Cooper build the case for two general tendencies that they trace to two ancient manifestations of empire.

The Qing and Han dynasties of ancient China intentional establishments that recognized and preserved the ethnic, linguistic, and spiritual variations that distinguished their varied subject populations. In contrast, Roman lea victimised their own culture as a unifying forces. Acceptance of Roman culture became a necessity for imperial citizenship. Chinese empire was culturally inclusive; that of Rome was progressively exclusive. According to Burbank and Cooper, these empires heavily influenced their regional successors in two ways in which. First, each established a framework for what the authors refer to as an "imperial imaginary" - a selected vision of the kind of empire that was potential and fascinating for its enchant philosophical polities. Second, if imperial imaginaries consisted of concepts and values, the institutional manifestations of these were intentional from a variety of heritable techniques of governance and in response to explicit contexts. By shaping these "repertoires of power" is how Burbank and Cooper link intellectual currents to on- the-ground outcomes. Later Chinese rulers inherited from their Qin and Han predecessors an imperial political culture that preferred a centralized and highly administrative brand of leadership - one that reached across continental expanses and within which numerous populations were managed with an extensive civil service.

The Roman stress on numerous styles of cultural conformity, their linkage of political power and military conquest, and their creation of an empire designed across land and ocean served as a model for later empires of western Christianity. The implications of those variations were extensive. The survival of a bureaucratic institutional infrastructure and of a specially trained category of functionaries was a part of what created its possibility to recreate Chinese empire underneath the Mongol and other auspices. But in the Roman’s case, political leadership predicated on military command fostered civil war. Its late-imperial monotheism made it even harder to secure collaboration and hold along a massive and enclosed polity. These and other alternative aspects of the Roman Empire engendered fissures that would still continue to divide its successor kingdoms in the western Mediterrean. In the article the authors mention a very interesting paradox about “how the empires with apparently the biggest technological advantage abetted by a strong sense of their cultural superiority over other societies were among the shortest-lived in history — seventy to eighty years of British or French domination over Africa, compared with the centuries long histories of the Russian, Hapsburg, or Ottoman empires or even the very last of the succession of Chinese dynasties”. This points connects well with how the techniques are inherited in empires which have a century old history. This technique can cultural or political. This inheritance of techniques according to the authors has shaped the modern world which we see today.

“China’s eclipse from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries by other — at the time more dynamic”. This statement tells us that how the inheritance from the Qing dynasty. “The leaders of China today evoke these dynasties and their imperial traditions. China has turned the tables on the West, exporting industrial goods in addition to silks and porcelain, running an enormous trade balance, becoming the creditor of the United States and Europe. ” The transformation has been huge china which is today adapted a lot of techniques from the Mongols because they were under their umbrella like the way they trade today with west is very similar to the way Mongols has conceptualised the trading with the west through the trade route. The desire of Tibetans for independence and proponent politics within the for the most part Muslim region of Xinjiang Region created classic issues for Chinese empire. As earlier, China’s rulers should management economic barons and monitor various populations, however the polity will draw on its accumulated imperial statecraft to satisfy these challenges and resume an outstanding place in an exceedingly shifting geography of power.

Another example which the authors give of how empires adopted techniques is the ottoman and British colonies. One strategy used by them was “putting slaves or other people detached from their communities of origin — and dependent for their welfare and survival solely on their imperial masters — in positions of authority. ” This strategy was effectively used in the Ottoman Empire, whose highest administrators and commanders had been extracted from their families as boys and brought up in the sultan’s household. Later on this heredity tradition of slaves was adopted by the European colonies and implemented it in India and Atlantic world through sugar and Indigo production. Another argument placed by the authors was how intermediaries were essential for history but they were dangerous also “By focusing on intermediaries, we emphasize vertical connections between rulers, their agents, and their subjects, a political relationship that is often overlooked today, in favour of horizontal affinities — of class, race, or ethnicity. ”

They continued this by saying that imperial empire in short makes a nation sovereign intermediaries led out a path and to display that the article gives the reader an example of the USSR. It talks the strategy of Soviet union of fostering republics which was led by communist intermediaries provided a road map for disaggregation and as well as a common language for negotiating new sovereignties. Soon changes occurred in Russia after “Vladimir Putin revived the traditions of patrimonial empire. As he and his protégés reconnect magnates to the state, tighten control over religious institutions, bring the media to heel, work to transform electoral process into a controllable “sovereign democracy, ” supported by a single party, and compel loyalty from the federation’s governors” yet this country after breaking of was still diverse that makes the reader think that sovereignty comes in a package with inequality, disparity of wealth and diversity of people. This can be seen with Putin’s implementation of strict laws over religion and media.

Following the sovereign route the authors of the article gives another example of the European Union for providing a support to their thesis of shaping the modern world. The emergence of European Union only occurred when the European empires gave up their desires of becoming empires again. It functioned effectively one they kept aside their ambition and focused on administration and regulation. “One of the most basic attributes of sovereignty — control of who crosses a border — has been pushed up to a European level. Europe’s transit from conflicting empire-building projects to national states shorn of colonies to a confederation of nations underlines the complexity of sovereign arrangements over time. ” This change gives a reader a sense that the concept of being a nation has been fulfilled by detaching from the imperial empire conception. Today the European onion contains several sovereign nations which are known as the Schengen nations. Even this attribute of cross border trade exchange comes the history which was first started with the Columbian exchange and then the controlling was done by colonies and motive is to push themselves up as imperial empires. Therefore the author is indirectly giving the reader a sense that the idea of early sovereignty has its roots in the empire system’s administration and legalisation.

To prove my interpretation the authors in the article gives an excellent example of today’s economical empire United States. Based on the imperial strategies United States in the twentieth century has used violent acts over other state’s sovereignty. They have attained this from the “Roman politics of difference”: on the basis of equal rights and private property for people considered citizens and the exclusion of Native Americans and slaves. This is followed by the United States even today. Even today there strategic style so similar to the British they wanted some states to be conquered like United States in the twenty-first century is doing with Venezuela.

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To conclude, the authors’ viewpoint displayed in article is how empires have facilitated the global interactions of goods, people, ideas and capital. Burbank and Cooper think that empire was a very violent process so it harmed the people more then it benefited them and this was done because empires created powerful political formations. The article mentions about “an antidote to imperial arrogance” therefore the authors felt that the one- nation idea or soveriengtnity idea based on imperial context could not be proven as the antidote of imperial arrogance. Because today we live in a world which is based on the tactics of the history of empire with a blur concept of soveriengtnity which does not properly exist therefore inequality is still remained a brutal reality. Now the question that will any form soveriengtnity ever be achieved to its fullest level with the growing globalisation? Or will forms of soveriengtnity erase all the flaws which the empire system has possessed?

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The Impact Of The Past Empires On Today’S Politics And Sovereignty. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from
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