Why do great empires (such as the Roman Empire and the United State) rise and fall?



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***Why do great empires (such as the Roman Empire and the United State) rise and fall?***
Based on what you have read in Chapter 5, class discussions, and research from the internet (abc-clio database and others), decide which of the following questions are most important to understand why great empires rise and fall.
Procedure: In teams of 3, pick two questions from each category to answer (total of 6). Circle the questions below. (As an individual, you will only answer two of these questions)
Leaders / Leadership

  • Who makes the leadership decisions to direct the empire and how strong were these leaders?

  • In what ways were leaders willing and able to accept new ideas and adapt to changing conditions to improve the empire?

  • In what ways did the leaders have ready sources of new information and new ideas at their disposal?

  • Identify and explain the trusted allies throughout the empire that leadership had to implement new ideas.


Strengths of an Empire

  • What were the central ideas and strengths (economic, social, political, etc.) of the empire?

  • How secure was this economic strength? Give examples and explain.

  • In what ways was the empire using its economic resources to improve itself and grow stronger?

  • Explain ways in which the empire was strong, other than economically.


Weaknesses of an Empire: What went wrong? Why inevitable collapse?

  • In what ways was the empire spending its economic resources on luxuries rather than on the means of further growth?

  • Explain why there were no new ideas, direction, or growth in the empire.

  • Explain in what ways is the leadership resistive to new ideas and changes. Why?

  • Explain in what ways the leadership was not reacting to correct obvious signs of decline in the empire.

Now apply the same four questions toward the United States today. According to your analysis, what stage is this county in – still continuing to grow or is it in a stage of decline? When finished, present your findings to the class for discussion.


What you will hand in (on Thursday, 3/18):

You will hand in all six questions thoroughly (at least 500 words, multiple sentences) answered in four parts: (please number them according the numbers listed above)



  1. Why is this question important to the understanding of why empires rise and fall? (at least 50 words)

  2. Rome answer to question (at least 150 words)

  3. U.S. answer to question (at least 150 words

  4. What stage is our country in – still continuing to grow or stage of decline? Why? (This answer should be based off of your research comparing the Roman Empire and the U.S.) (at least 150 words)


Now apply the same three questions toward the United States today. According to your analysis, what stage is our county in – still continuing to grow or is it in a stage of decline?
What you will hand in (on Thursday, 1/27):

You will hand in all six questions thoroughly (at least 500 words, multiple sentences) answered in four parts: (please number them according the numbers listed above)



  1. Why is this question important to the understanding of why empires rise and fall? (at least 50 words)

  2. Roman Empire answer to question (at least 150 words)

  3. U.S. “Empire” answer to question (at least 150 words)

  4. What stage is our country in – still continuing to grow or stage of decline? Why? (This answer should be based off of your research comparing the Roman Empire and the U.S.) (at least 150 words)


How you should do this:

Although you will divide up the questions, having each person answer two (2), you should all discuss the questions together as a team before you break off and answer them. You are expected to help and seek help from your team members throughout your research and collaboration.


All group members are responsible for knowing and understanding each question and the answers to it. Therefore, make sure you discuss and collaborate about your research!!!
GRADING (Individual):

- Research Question: 20 points x 2

- Group Participation: 10 points

- Class Discussion: 10 points


On Wednesday 1/26 & Thursday 1/27, I will be sitting down with groups and listening to the discussion/collaboration going on. You will be graded on this! If you are not an active member of the group (meaning you are not talking or contributing at all) you will be deducted 10 points.
Your presentation and class discussion (on Monday 1/31 & Tuesday 2/1) will account for an additional 10 points (individual grade).



GRADING RUBRIC: (please cut off and hand to Ms. Thompson on Thursday 1/27)
Name: ___________________________________________________
Research Question: _____ / 20 points X 2

Group Participation: _____ / 10 points

Class Discussion: _____ / 10 points



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