Total Posts:20|Showing Posts:1-20
Jump to topic:

Empires That Unified Culture

Surrealism
Posts: 265
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 7:13:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I recently got into a casual argument about what empire has done the best job of unifying diverse cultures, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I posited that the empire of Charlemagne had historically done the best job, given that it had allowed the birth of a newer European culture out of the ashes of Germanic tribes and old Roman roots, mixed in with the dominant force of Catholicism.

Of course, I hadn't considered or contemplated much about this topic, so there are many other possibilities that I'd missed.

For example:

Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
German Empire

There's definitely more that simply haven't thought of, but that's the reason I'm making this forum topic. Discussion will help all of us learn.

Oh, and I'd just like to specify that containing cultures is different from unifying them. So the House of Habsburg doesn't really count here.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
YYW
Posts: 36,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 7:25:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
You're forgetting the Mongolian empire which was, by all practical measure, one of the most culturally progressive and brilliantly unifying empires in recorded human history. I wish I had more time to talk about how cool the Mongols were (granted, some of the stuff they did was barbaric) but what they accomplished and the time span in which they accomplished it is second only, I think, to the Romans.
Tsar of DDO
TheChristian
Posts: 1,031
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 7:28:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.
Mesopotamia
Mesoamerica
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:28:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:13:45 PM, Surrealism wrote:
I recently got into a casual argument about what empire has done the best job of unifying diverse cultures, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I posited that the empire of Charlemagne had historically done the best job, given that it had allowed the birth of a newer European culture out of the ashes of Germanic tribes and old Roman roots, mixed in with the dominant force of Catholicism.

Of course, I hadn't considered or contemplated much about this topic, so there are many other possibilities that I'd missed.

For example:

Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
German Empire

There's definitely more that simply haven't thought of, but that's the reason I'm making this forum topic. Discussion will help all of us learn.

Oh, and I'd just like to specify that containing cultures is different from unifying them. So the House of Habsburg doesn't really count here.

The various Islamic caliphates stretched from Morocco to Indonesia, and into Central Asia. They contained religious tensions through Dhimmi laws, and used Islam itself as a unifying factor. They essentially forged a huge amount of disparate cultural and even religious groups into a worldwide community, which continues to be held together by both shared culture and religion to this very day.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...
Tsar of DDO
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:33:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...

Samarkand, Bactria, and the Silk Road states are also big areas of interest to me. Central Asia in general is just completely ignored, even though it was a crucial point of contact between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese societies.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:35:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:33:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...

Samarkand, Bactria, and the Silk Road states are also big areas of interest to me. Central Asia in general is just completely ignored, even though it was a crucial point of contact between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese societies.

You're definitely right, and Central Asia's history is a rich, vibrant one as well. I mean, I understand that there is a limited amount of time in classes... but that's not something that should be overlooked.
Tsar of DDO
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:45:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:35:31 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:33:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...

Samarkand, Bactria, and the Silk Road states are also big areas of interest to me. Central Asia in general is just completely ignored, even though it was a crucial point of contact between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese societies.

You're definitely right, and Central Asia's history is a rich, vibrant one as well. I mean, I understand that there is a limited amount of time in classes... but that's not something that should be overlooked.

Yep. Plus it's just cool. In Turpan, near the eastern end of the Taklamakan Desert, they actually dug a huge web of underground tunnels and canals to collect and channel rainwater from nearby mountain ranges in order to irrigate fields for camel caravans. I think that history classes like to pretend that there was an impenetrable barrier between east and West, and that ignores important contact between China and the Persian, Greek, and Islamic worlds.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 10:48:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:35:31 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:33:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...

Samarkand, Bactria, and the Silk Road states are also big areas of interest to me. Central Asia in general is just completely ignored, even though it was a crucial point of contact between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese societies.

You're definitely right, and Central Asia's history is a rich, vibrant one as well. I mean, I understand that there is a limited amount of time in classes... but that's not something that should be overlooked.

I don't know of a single history class outside an elementary school that overlooks the largest land empire in world history.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 11:28:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 10:48:06 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:35:31 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:33:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:29:44 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/17/2015 10:28:51 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

This is true. Most don't even know that a good portion of the court was Christian, as well.

Yeah. The Mongols were pretty awesome. Very interesting architectural traditions too...

Samarkand, Bactria, and the Silk Road states are also big areas of interest to me. Central Asia in general is just completely ignored, even though it was a crucial point of contact between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese societies.

You're definitely right, and Central Asia's history is a rich, vibrant one as well. I mean, I understand that there is a limited amount of time in classes... but that's not something that should be overlooked.

I don't know of a single history class outside an elementary school that overlooks the largest land empire in world history.

Oh, they cover them, but they're always the 'menace from the East,' the 'scary murderous horse people who are only good at killing people and can't run an empire'. That's the treatment that they received in my HS history classes: basically angry centaurs. Instead of covering Central Asia in any sort of depth, we learned about WW II four separate times.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,848
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/17/2015 11:39:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:13:45 PM, Surrealism wrote:
I recently got into a casual argument about what empire has done the best job of unifying diverse cultures, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I posited that the empire of Charlemagne had historically done the best job, given that it had allowed the birth of a newer European culture out of the ashes of Germanic tribes and old Roman roots, mixed in with the dominant force of Catholicism.

Of course, I hadn't considered or contemplated much about this topic, so there are many other possibilities that I'd missed.

For example:

Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
German Empire

There's definitely more that simply haven't thought of, but that's the reason I'm making this forum topic. Discussion will help all of us learn.

Oh, and I'd just like to specify that containing cultures is different from unifying them. So the House of Habsburg doesn't really count here.

The North German Confederation was a good attempt, where Prussia united all "Northern German" states into the North German culture. It was also the first modern German nation state. The United States of Greater Austria was an interesting idea for a cultural unification. Franz Ferdinand had planned to redraw the map of Austria-Hungary radically, creating a number of ethnically and linguistically dominated semi-autonomous "states" which would all be part of a larger confederation. Under this plan, language and cultural identification was encouraged, and the disproportionate balance of power would be corrected.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
Otokage
Posts: 2,351
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/21/2015 9:18:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:13:45 PM, Surrealism wrote:
I recently got into a casual argument about what empire has done the best job of unifying diverse cultures, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I posited that the empire of Charlemagne had historically done the best job, given that it had allowed the birth of a newer European culture out of the ashes of Germanic tribes and old Roman roots, mixed in with the dominant force of Catholicism.

Of course, I hadn't considered or contemplated much about this topic, so there are many other possibilities that I'd missed.

For example:

Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
German Empire

There's definitely more that simply haven't thought of, but that's the reason I'm making this forum topic. Discussion will help all of us learn.

Oh, and I'd just like to specify that containing cultures is different from unifying them. So the House of Habsburg doesn't really count here.

If by unifying culture you mean being able to keep different cultures together into a united institution, I would say the European Union is doing that right now. Europeans have nothing to do with each other and yet here we are, all part of a union.

If by unifying culture you mean: displace local culture and replace it with the invading culture. Then I would say USA is better than Rome at doing that.
EdwardJLHaigh
Posts: 3
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/6/2015 9:05:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
What about the Qin dynasty in China? The first Emperor unified and standardized the states of China, creating a legacy of Dynasties that lasted two thousand years.
HououinKyouma
Posts: 1,030
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/6/2015 3:54:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:13:45 PM, Surrealism wrote:
I recently got into a casual argument about what empire has done the best job of unifying diverse cultures, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I posited that the empire of Charlemagne had historically done the best job, given that it had allowed the birth of a newer European culture out of the ashes of Germanic tribes and old Roman roots, mixed in with the dominant force of Catholicism.

Of course, I hadn't considered or contemplated much about this topic, so there are many other possibilities that I'd missed.

For example:

Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
German Empire

There's definitely more that simply haven't thought of, but that's the reason I'm making this forum topic. Discussion will help all of us learn.

Oh, and I'd just like to specify that containing cultures is different from unifying them. So the House of Habsburg doesn't really count here.

You also missed the Mughal Empire. Very interesting history.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/7/2015 3:08:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:26:24 PM, YYW wrote:
Mongolian history is really overlooked, though, in the west... which is unfortunate.

Most of it is overlooked because they didn't leave a historical record. Most of them were illiterate and did not take well to developing a written tradition. This is true of the Huns as well.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/7/2015 3:08:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/6/2015 9:05:57 AM, EdwardJLHaigh wrote:
What about the Qin dynasty in China? The first Emperor unified and standardized the states of China, creating a legacy of Dynasties that lasted two thousand years.

You could add Egypt to that list as well.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/7/2015 3:25:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/17/2015 7:25:57 PM, YYW wrote:
You're forgetting the Mongolian empire which was, by all practical measure, one of the most culturally progressive and brilliantly unifying empires in recorded human history. I wish I had more time to talk about how cool the Mongols were (granted, some of the stuff they did was barbaric) but what they accomplished and the time span in which they accomplished it is second only, I think, to the Romans.

Probably a more valid comparison in regards to "cultural progressivism" would be to compare Genghis Khan's Mongolians to Alexander's Greeks. Both of them respected host cultures and left lasting influences over vast swaths of territory within a short time. The thing is, the Greeks engaged in cultural exchange utilizing their own culture...the same could not be said of the Mongols.

The Romans did not strike me as being culturally progressive. They were much more insistent that occupied territories adopt their culture, similar to the insistence that written Chinese be officially used across China upon unification during Qin/Han even though even to this day most ancient dialects, which are less dialects than distinct languages, are still widely used across the country. Another comparison to Rome would be America...we're not particularly influenced by Korean culture, but they are profoundly influenced by ours. That's not particularly progressive on our part.

As far as "cultural legacy" is concerned, I would think ancient Mesopotamian cultures have a far more enduring and unifying legacy than any other civilization or group of civilizations, although such an analysis is Euro-centric.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?