Government corruption. Not that it already isn't :P
The thing you have to understand about our history teacher, is that he 'drifts' from topics rather easily. Yesterday we started talking about the British empire and it's colonies as we should have done, then somehow drifted onto comparing Ancient Rome to the modern day US.
Needless to say it was very interesting to talk about, and it's striking just how similar Rome and the US are. But what sparked most debate was how the U.S would come to an end?
The ancient Romans believed that their empire would exist forever, perhaps not unlike some americans believe today. But when the unthinkable happened, and Rome collapsed, the dark ages began in Europe (since there was nothing around to replace Rome).
Though Rome itself went with a bang, the Roman empire slowly went with a whimper over a thousand years later. Now assuming that the US won't be around forever either, just how do you think it will end? Is the US destined to suffer the same fate as Rome? Will the world enter a new 'dark age' when it does?
Though we eventually came up with 3 realistic scenarios, nobody in my class, not even our teacher could really answer these questions... so I thought I would let you guys have a hack at it.
I will post up what we thought later.
Government corruption. Not that it already isn't :P
Well you're right U.S. is similar to Rome and Rome collapsed knowing it was a powerful country, But the U.S. government is smarter and more advance than the Rome's government and we have the resources to pick ourselves when we probably fall. But also we'll have the power to pick ourselves back up so the end of the U.S. is possible. Just a matter of time...
Please... lord, give me the strength to change... change the world... If I could
Sol... once friends now sworn enemies where did we go wrong...
All modern day republics, and democracies are similar to both Rome and Greece, because that's where they first originated from.
I believe that the U.S. will lose more and more of its freedoms due to corruption within the gorvernment. I believe that eventually some figure head within the government will asume all power, but in the end it will spark a wide spread rebellion that will end our government, and we'll end up splitting the U.S. up into several independent countries.
Dreams come true, but nightmares do too.
Life isn't a game, it's just a referal to the time you exist on this playground called Earth.
It can happen, like I said earlier, government corruption can be one thing, since the President of the United States is the most powerful man on the planet. An old saying (With great power, comes great responsibility -Uncle Ben) , you think President Bush could make a good Spider-man? He's pretty stupid if you ask me. Well that's what I can tell after watching his first session as President. As the United States is at the top of the world at the moment, anyone within the government could at any moment take power and turn it for evil use. I don't think it'll happen anytime soon though, or even at all. But with all that power, and knowing how human reaction is when they are given that amount of power, it's possible to imagine a scenario where the government corrupts.
As more and more countries develop their economies, it will be a matter of time until those countries become more and more independent economically-wise from the United States. Countries such as China, are known powers in the world, but right now due to their very poor status and communist government, it is slowing down their progress. But if you look at the developped parts of China, noticeably Hong Kong, you can see the possibilities for that country. Hong Kong, is a very technologically advanced city, and one of the busiest port cities on the planet. China could one day become a great economical threat to the United States, notably because right now a great deal of American imports and business is done with China and other Asian countries. And with a population of over 1.2 billion, China has a great advantage in that category. If the United States were to go to war with China, no-weapons, just man-to-man combat, it would be almost 4 Chinese against 1 American. Imagine that...
Other countries such as North Korea, and Iran are threats as well, because of their Nuclear programs. It's always been a fear that the United States might eb attacked one day by Nuclear missiles. Nowadays all the security measures are being put up to ensure safety. But once again, there's no way to secure the United States 100%, there will always be terrorism, and you can't stop that.
There are so many people on the planet that despise the United States, and if they were to join forces with eachother, it would be a enormous threat!
So, not only government corruption, but developping countries, and terrorism are threats that can bring down the United States. Also a good reminder, that natural disasters can devistate a country. Imagine a mega-tsunami hitting the coastal cities of the United States (the biggest cities and most important ones, are coastal), it would create mass devastation to the country physically and economically. It's happened in South Asia, give it a rather moddest sized tsunami. But if you watch scientific shows, mega-tsunamis are possible, and scientists predict one will hit the eastern United States sometime in the future due to the collapse of some volcano on the western african continent.
I think that everyone will release they're weapons of mass desruction... An everyone will be dead, so no dark age.... Maybe the world might be blown up though.
-Just another green eyed angel, distorted by mans love for hate-|THE INFAMOUS CHEETOS OVERLORD||IceNineKills|
It's interesting that you should name Britian and Rome since they are the two historical countries we have the most in common with.
Fact is we are living on borrowed time. The USA is actually the longest lived government in history bypasing even the Roman Empire. But those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it so your question is an important one.
As I understand it governments fall for three reasons.
1. Natural Disaster
2. Being conqered by a greater power
3. Corruption from within
First, the USA is large enough that a natural disaster on it's own would be insufficient to topple the government. In fact it is the type of government we have, representitive even at the local level, that insure that any disaster will be delt with.
Second comes being conqered by a greater power. This is unlikely if not impossible as long as we keep our technologic edge over other countries. The "arms race" that pacifics disdain so greatly is actually our best defense as long as our society is strong as well.
This brings us the the third point and the only one we are actually seriously in danger from. The only time a technologically superier government falls to a technologically inferior one is if the society itself has fallen first. This does not only mean a corrupt government! The government is only a reflection of the society. If the society has become corrupted and weak then the government will be as well. But even if the government is not corrupt, if society is (it does happen), then it does not matter how strong the government is it will not have a stong enough foundation to last.
The Roman Empire is a perfect example of this. It's fall can be traced directly to 8 points; Decline in Morals and Values, Public Health, Political Corruption, Unemployment, Inflation, Urban decay, Inferior Technology, and Military Spending.
Decline in Morals and Values: Crime increased, the streets became unsafe, and no one cared. The people spent their time lavishly and lazily. No matter what their social status as long as they were entertained nothing else mattered.
Public Health: Comfort and ease became more important then health (the use of lead pipes). Disease spread easily amoung society unchecked in public forums (the collisiums and homeless). And the use of alcohol became rampant. The more they drank the less they cared.
Political Corruption: The position of Emperor was up for sell to the highest bidder. Most of them died by assasination.
Unemployment: The extensive use of slave labor resulted in massive unemployment. The unemployed would then go to the city where the government cofferes whould be drained to feed them as the crime rate continued to increase.
Inflation: As money stopped flowing into Rome they debased their currency by decreasing the amount of gold in it (So the rich could pretend to still be rich) until the Roman coin became worthless and goods had to be purchased by barter.
Urban decay: The majority of Romans lived in getto/apartment conditions or on the streets. There was little or no middle class and the cities paid for it.
Inferior Technology: They stopped inventing new technologies, were unable to continue to provide for the growing population, and unable to maintain or keep their outlying territories.
Military Spending: As the citizens of Rome ceased to care about their own defense the government was forced to hire foreign mercinaries to defend the empire. These mercinaries cost more then the Empire could afford which drained monies from other government services adding to the general decline.
Put simply their society fell apart from the inside out. Once that was accomplished all another had to do was walk in and there was little they could do to stop it. So as long as we can avoid their pitfalls and continue our search for technology then we should be safe. If we don't, all someone will have to do is walk in and we won't be able to stop them.