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Roman Empire

At first they were ruled by divine kings, then they became a republic (perhaps their greatest period) before finally becoming an empire. How a group of farmers, who started off fending wolves to protect their livestock, eventually became the greatest empire in all history is the stuff of legends. oupled with an e!cellent military and administrative system, the Roman Empire, or rather ancient Rome, is also one of the longest"lasting. ounting from its founding to the fall of the #y$antine empire, ancient Rome lasted for a whopping %,%&' years( Ancient Rome contributed greatly to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, religion and language in the )estern world. *n fact many historians consider the Roman Empire to be a perfect empire + influential, fair, long"lasting, big, well defended and economically advanced. ,he influence of the Roman Empire is felt to this day, if for no other reason than the influence on the atholic hurch, which took much of its administrative nous and pageantry from it.

-amilies still lived in one home. .ld age was still honored. Everyone had to worship the Roman gods. ,he center of each town was still the -orum. ,he rich lived in beautiful homes. ,he poor worked all the time.

Although the /enate met and argued, and had advisory power, the real power was now in the hands of an all" powerful emperor. ,he Roman people would never have accepted a king. However, the people seemed to have no problem accepting the leadership of a dictator, who called himself an emperor. 0nder Augustus, the first Roman emperor, the people got used to being ruled by one leader. Establishment of Public Health Programs: ,he government created new public health programs. .ne program distributed free bread to workmen on their way to work in the morning. Reduction in Crime: 0nder the empire, the Roman legionnaires policed Rome1s streets. ,hey worked in small groups. ,hey could 2uickly band together in large groups as necessary. ,heir hob"nailed sandals made 2uite a loud sound on Rome1s cobblestone streets. )hen criminals heard the legionaries approaching, they typically scattered. ,he legionaries were armed and well trained. Improvements for Women: 3ife was very different for women during the Empire than it was under the Republic. 4uring the Empire, it was legal for women to own land, run businesses, free slaves, make wills, inherit wealth, and get a paid 5ob. )omen could even use the public baths. ,here were separate hours for men and women, but women were allowed inside. ,hese were all new privileges. Free Live Theatre: 0nder the empire, Rome built huge theatres. Pla s were no longer performed only in the -orum. Admission was free. Free !pectacles: ,he government constructed other huge public buildings and improved open"air facilities. ,hese were used to host events called spectacles. hariot racing was held in the Circus "a#imus$ ,he Colosseum hosted the gladiator games. Admission to spectacles was free. Rome had 2uite a run. -irst a monarchy, then a republic, then an empire + all roads led to Rome for over &%66 years. *n the 7editerranean, Rome was in charge. 4uring the *mperial period, Rome had some wonderful emperors. Rome also suffered from a series of bad, corrupt and 5ust plain cra$y emperors. ,here were lots of reasons why Rome fell.

8roblems towards the end of the Empire included ,he empire was too large to govern effectively. ,he army was not what it used to be. ,here was corruption in the military " dishonest generals and non" Roman soldiers. ivil wars broke out between different political groups. Emperors were often selected by violence, or by birth, so the head of government was not always a capable leader. ,he increased use of slaves put many Romans out of work ,he rich became la$y and showed little interest in trying to solve Rome problems. ,he poor were overta!ed and overworked. ,hey were very unhappy. 8rices increased, trade decreased. ,he population was shrinking due to starvation and disease. ,hat made it difficult to manage farms and government effectively. ,he Empire starting shrinking. ,he Huns, 9isigoths, -ranks, 9andals, /a!ons and other barbarian tribes overran the empire. ,he ancient Romans tried to solve some of their problems by splitting the Roman Empire in half, hoping that would make the empire easier to manage. Each side had an emperor, but the emperor in charge was the emperor of the western half, the half that included the city of Rome. ,he )estern Roman Empire did not do well. *nstead of getting stronger, they became weaker. #y '66 A4, it was pretty much over. ,he Huns, -ranks, 9andals, /a!ons, 9isigoths + any of these barbarian tribes might have been the group that finally brought Rome down. ,hey were all attacking various pieces of the )estern Roman Empire. *n ':; A4, the 9isigoths sacked Rome. Europe entered the 4ark Ages. ,he Easter Roman Empire received a new name + the #y$antine Empire. ,he #y$antine Empire did fine. *t lasted for another &666 years(

7ongol Empire
*t all started when ,emu5in (who was later known as <enghis =han), vowed in his youth to bring the world to his feet. He almost did. His first act was unifying the scattered 7ongolian tribes. ,hen he set his sight on hina, and the rest is history. -rom 9ietnam to Hungary, the 7ongol Empire is the largest contiguous empire in the history of mankind. 0nfortunately for them, their empire was too big to be controlled, and there was no unity among the different cultures. ,he 7ongols were fearless and ruthless fighters, but had little e!perience in administration. ,he image of the 7ongols as a brutal and savage people is renowned through history. 7ongol battle tactics were an outgrowth of their natural lifestyle. #etween their nomadism and their traditional clan warfare, they received constant practice in riding and archery. 0nlike the cumbersome European armies of the time, the 7ongols traveled very light and demonstrated e!traordinary endurance, living off the land and often spending several days at a time in the saddle. .nce they launched their con2uests, they demonstrated remarkable ability to coordinate armies separated by great distances, using dispatch riders to communicate across hundreds of miles of unfamiliar terrain. ,heir mobility " up to &66 miles a day " was unheard of by armies of the time. ,he 7ongol combination of mobility and communication was probably not e2ualed again until )orld )ar **. ,ime and again we read of the 7ongols performing feats that would not be matched until the ,wentieth entury> it1s as if Erwin Rommel and <eorge 8atton fell through a crack in space"time and came out in the ,hirteenth entury. 7ongol tactics were innovative. A favorite ruse was to open a hole in their lines and allow panicked enemy soldiers to flee. After wiping out the disciplined troops who remained, the 7ongols hunted down the stragglers. A similar ruse was to put up a stiff fight, then retreat and lead pursuers into an ambush. ,he 7ongols were e!tremely ruthless in battle but displayed e!traordinary military discipline. )hen a 7ongol general violated orders and sacked a city promised to another chief, <enghis =han ordered him to step down and serve as a common soldier in his own army, which he did, falling soon afterward in battle. Almost alone of the world1s armies of the time, the 7ongols could be ordered not to pillage a city and would obey> contrast the rusader sack of ?erusalem in &6@@. Although originally nomads, the 7ongols were very pragmatic about adopting useful innovations and readily assimilated advanced siege technology. And they were superb and voracious gatherers and users of military intelligence. 7ongol rule in con2uered territories had two faces. Resistance and rebellion was countered by ruthless annihilation, but 7ongol rule was remarkably benevolent when the populace was cooperative. on2uered areas were generally left under native governors ( hina was the e!ception> there the 7ongols tended to use outsiders whenever possible). Religious tolerance was important in consolidating rule and gaining the support of minorities oppressed by 7oslems. ,he administration was commonly more benign than pre"7ongol government. *n the con2uest of 8ersia, these strategies amounted to AResist, and you die> cooperate, and you will be better off.A ,his attitude wasn1t entirely restricted to the 7ongols> the prevailing rule of war was that a besieged city could obtain surrender terms, but if the city resisted and forced the issue to the bitter end, it would bear the conse2uences. <enghis =han authori$ed the use of paper money shortly before his death in &%%:. *t was backed by precious metals and silk. ,he 7ongols used hinese silver ingot as a unified money of public account, while circulating paper money in hina and coins in the western areas of the empire such as <olden Horde and hagatai =hanate. ,he 7ongols had a strong history of supporting merchants and trade. <enghis =han had encouraged foreign merchants early in his career, even before uniting the 7ongols. 7erchants provided him with information about neighboring cultures, served as diplomats and official traders for the 7ongols, and were essential for many needed goods, since the 7ongols produced little of their own. 7ongols sometimes provided capital for merchants, and sent them far afield, in an ortoq (merchant partner) arrangement. As the Empire grew, any merchants or ambassadors with proper documentation and authori$ation, received protection and sanctuary as they traveled through 7ongol realms. )ell"traveled and relatively well"maintained roads linked lands from the 7editerranean basin to hina, and greatly increasing overland trade, and resulting in some dramatic stories of those who traveled what became known as the /ilk Road.

Holy Roman Empire


4uring the middle ages, they were considered the BsuperpowerC of their time. At its height, the Holy Roman Empire consisted of eastern -rance, all of <ermany, northern *taly and parts of western 8oland. 4espite being relatively small in terms of Empires, its influence on the history of central Europe is still felt today. *ncredibly the Empire lasted from the early middle ages to the &@th century. ,he Empire was formally dissolved on ; August &D6; when the last Holy Roman Emperor, -rancis ** (later -rancis * of Austria), abdicated following a military defeat by the -rench under Eapoleon. 0pon its collapse, the following nations emergedF /wit$erland, Holland, the Austrian Empire, #elgium, the 8russian Empire, 8rincipality of 3iechtenstein, onfederation of the Rhine and the first -rench Empire. Feudalism: ,here really was no Bfeudal systemC if that implies a neat hierarchy of lords and vassals who collectively took charge of political and military affairs. #ecause the feudal hierarchy arose as a makeshift for defense against invaders, it always had a provisional, ad hoc, and fle!ible character. However, medieval European society was characteri$ed by fragmentation of political power, public power in private hands, and armed forces secured through private contracts. !ociet : ,he country was not governed by the king but by individual lords who administered their own estates, dispensed their own 5ustice, minted their own money, levied ta!es and tolls, and demanded military service from vassals. 0sually the lords could field greater armies than the king. *n theory the king was the chief feudal lord, but in reality the individual lords were supreme in their own territory. 7any kings were little more than figurehead rulers Retainers: ,he nobles maintained their armies by offering grants, usually land, to armed retainers. *n e!change for the grants, the retainers pledged their loyalty and military service to their lords. ,he retainers gained increased rights over their land, to include the prerogative to pass on their rights to the heirs. Political%"ilitar Relationship: A close relationship between political and military authorities developed. As a result, political authorities and military specialists merged into a hereditary noble class which lived off the surplus agricultural production that it e!tracted from the cultivators. .nly by tapping into this surplus could the lords and their retainers secure the material resources necessary to maintain their control over military, political, and legal affairs. !erfs: -ree peasants sought protection from a lord and pledged their labor and obedience in e!change for security and land to cultivate. #eginning in the mid &: th entury, this category became recogni$ed as serfs+ neither fully slave nor fully free. /erfs had the right to work certain lands and to pass those lands on to their heirs. *n e!change they had to perform labor services and pay rents in kind (a portion of the harvest, chickens, eggs, etc). 7ale serfs typically worked three days a week for their lords with e!tra services during planting and harvesting times. )omen serfs churned butter, spun thread, and sewed clothes for their lords and their families. /ince the lord provided the land, the serfs had little opportunity to move and had to get the lordGs permission to do so. "anors: 7anors were large estates consisting of fields, meadows, forests, agricultural tools, domestic animals, and serfs. ,he lord of the manor and his deputies provided government, administration, police services, and 5ustice for the manor. 7any lords had the authority to e!ecute serfs for serious misconduct. *n the absence of thriving cities in rural areas, manors became largely self"sufficient communities.

#ritish Empire
At itGs greatest e!tent, the #ritish empire was known as the largest empire in history, as it covered more than &H,666,666 s2uare miles, which is appro!imately a 2uarter of the EarthGs total land area, and controlled more than I66 million people + again a 2uarter of the worldGs population. As a result, the legacy it imprinted on these con2uered lands is tremendous in terms of political reform, cultural e!changes and way of life. ,he English language, which it spread, is the second most"widely spoken language in the world today, and many linguistics agree that English is the defacto standard language of the world. ,he #ritish empire is definitely one of the most influential empires ever to have e!isted in human history. ,he #ritish Empire included all the territories that were ruled by #ritain. 0nder Jueen 9ictoria1s rule, she doubled its si$e to make it the largest empire in history + it controlled %HK of the worldGs surface and 'ID million people at its peak. *t was described as being the AEmpire on which the sun never setsA. ,rade with the Empire made #ritain rich. ,he most famous part of the #ritish Empire was the East *ndia ,rading ompany, which started out as a small business before becoming a very large trading company in Asia that many people depended on. *t mainly traded inF cotton, silk, indigo dye and tea. ,ea was its most successful import into #ritain where it became a popular drink among the common people during the 9ictorian period. Jueen 9ictoria was crowned the Empress of *ndia in &D:; when the company disbanded (closed down). ,he strength of the #ritish Empire was underpinned by the steamship and the telegraph + new technologies invented during Jueen 9ictoriaGs reign. .n :th Eovember &D;@, the new /ue$ anal opened a direct link between the 7editerranean /ea and the *ndian .cean to make the voyage between *ndia and #ritain much 2uicker. ,he SS Great Britain was a large steamship designed by *sambard =ingdom #runel which broke the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic .cean, doing it in 5ust &' days. *n &D:6, 8ortcurno, in the far west of ornwall, became the hub for international cable communications. *ts first link stretched from the 0= to *ndia. 4uring the &DD6s, #ritain took control of large parts of Africa, includingF =enya, 0ganda, Eigeria and Egypt. ,his became known as the 1scramble for Africa1 as #ritain competed with other Empire builders, especially -rance and #elgium, to coloni$e countries. /ome families emigrated from #ritain to new homes in countries of the Empire, in particularF Australia, Eew Lealand, /outh Africa and anada. hildren were taught about the #ritish Empire in school and could easily find the countries of the Empire on a map as they were always coloured in pink or red. 4espite being considered in &D@:, it wasnGt until the year following Jueen 9ictoriaGs death that the first annual Empire 4ay was held for people to celebrate being proud to be part of such a large, powerful grouping of nations.

Han 4ynasty
4uring the hinese period of warring states, the whole of hina was embroiled in a civil war as the different kingdoms within it battled it out with each other in the 2uest for supremacy. *n the end, the Jin /tate won, and gobbled up the whole of hina, with '6 million people under its control. ,he Jin 4ynasty didnGt last long, and soon it went to the Han, which eventually controlled hina for close to '66 years. ,he period of the Han 4ynasty is considered a golden age in hinese history in terms of scientific achievement, technological advance, economic, cultural and political stability. Even to this day, most hinese people refer to themselves as the Han people. ,oday, the BHan peopleC is considered the largest single ethnic group in the world. ,his was not the <olden Age of hina, but life was very good for many of the people because of the demand for hinese silk. ,he creation of the Asilk roadA " the trade routes across the fierce deserts " allowed trade to flourish more easily with the Roman Empire. 8eople bonded together into one civili$ation during Han times. ,hey had a common culture. Even in remote sections, district officials copied the manner of the imperial court. 8easants built homes and plowed their fields in the same way all over hina. Han writing tells us little about their daily life. Han tombs, however, tell us 2uite a lot. ,he Hans buried clay models of their homes and belongings, in their tombs. 7odels included details like little clay furniture and little bron$e oil lamps. The &rts ' !ciences: /o much was lost during the book burnings of the Jin 4ynasty. ,he Han people tried very hard to replace the literature that was lost during Jin times, especially the works of onfucius. ,hey created new works of literature and music. #eautiful murals were painted on the walls of palaces. /croll painting began. raftsmen made 5ade 5ewelry and carvings, gold ornaments and belt hooks, delicate paintings with wire thin brush strokes. *ron was used for making plows and other cast iron ob5ects. <la$ed pottery was brightly painted with lively hunting scenes, mountains, trees, clouds, dragons, tigers, and bears. ,heir medicine was advanced. ,hey invented acupuncture. ,heir science was also advanced. 4uring Han times, these ancient people invented paper. ,hey also invented an instrument that told them when an earth2uake was happening, somewhere in the Empire, so they could send troops and food to help. Public !chools: .ne of the Han emperors (Emperor )udi), around &66 E, agreed with onfucius that education was the key to good government. He started a system of public schools, for boys only, taught by onfucian teachers. ,he teachings of onfucius were nationally honored. /chools were set up in each providence. ,here was a ma5or school, called the <rand /chool, in the capital. *n the beginning, only I6 students were allowed to study at the <rand /chool. *n less than &66 years, enrollment at the <rand /chool was over H6,666 students. (obs: ?obs were given to educated people, as well as nobles. 8eople were paid for their work. Life in the Cities: .nly about &6K of the population (& out of &6 people) lived in the cities. ities were neatly laid out with main streets and alleyways. Each city was surrounded by a strong wall, made of earth and stone. As cities are today, the ancient Han cities were centers of government, education, and trade. 7ost marketplaces, throughout the city, had free entertainment. 7usicians played bells, drums, and string instruments, and 5ugglers and acrobats performed. The Poor: ,he poor lived in houses packed together. ,hey had very little food, and little to no sanitation. 7any of the young males 5oined street gangs. <angs wore distinctive clothes and armor, that identified their gang. ,een gangs roamed the cities, terrori$ing people.

The Rich: ,he rich rushed to imitate the imperial palace. ,hey built elaborate homes, decorated with drapery, and cashmere carpets. ,hey furnished family tombs with stone lions. .n the lions, and on other sculpture, they added inscriptions mentioning how much each item had cost( ,he rich lived in comfortable, large houses with many rooms and fireplaces. Each home was built around a central courtyard. ,hey had elaborately carved furniture that showed <reek and Roman influence, and painted stuccoed walls with floral designs. .ther walls were left bare to display paintings or bron$e mirrors. 4inner was elaborate. =ids were tutored in science, math, literature, art, religion, and music. /ome studied in their homes, and some at the home of their tutor. ,he rich did not use the public schools. ,hey wore belted robes with long sleeves lined with silk. )hen it was cold, they wore warm fur coats, made of s2uirrel and fo! skins and leather slippers. "erchants ' Craftsmen: As in /hang times, merchants were hardly recogni$ed as men. .nce the canals were built, some merchants and craftsmen became rich. A really successful merchant might ride in a cart with a coachman, buy a title from an emperor, and built a mansion surrounded by pools and gardens. ,his absolutely infuriated officials and peasants. (,he merchants didn1t till the soil. ,hey weren1t nobles. ,here ought to be a law, to stop them from doing this, and for a while, there was a law, forbidding them from riding in carts and chariots.) Life in the Countr : ountry folk were farmers. ,hey lived in one or two story mud houses with tiled or thatched roofs. ,hey had curtains on the windows. #arns and other buildings surrounded the house. /everal families lived in one house to allow them to work their fields together. ,hey still did not own their farms, but farms were larger in si$e, because families had learned to team up. ,his solved a ma5or problem. ,ogether, they were able to produce more food, some years, than they needed, which allowed them to trade food for other items. ,hey still worked very hard. ,hey went to bed at dark and got up at dawn. ,hey dressed in simple clothes. #oth men and women wore shirts and pants made of scratchy cloth, and sandals made of straw. ,hey stuffed their clothes with paper and cloth, to stay warm in the winter. ,hey steamed much of their food over boiling water on stoves. *n the south, they ate rice, steamed dumplings, and fish, flavored with garlic and onions. *n the north, they ate much the same, only they ate wheat instead of rice.

.ttoman Empire
At the height of its power (&;th+&:th century), the .ttoman Empire spanned three continents, controlling much of /outheastern Europe, )estern Asia and Eorth Africa. *t contained %@ provinces and numerous vassal states, some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries. ,he empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and )estern worlds for si! centuries. )ith onstantinople as its capital city, and vast control of lands around the eastern 7editerranean during the reign of /uleiman the 7agnificent (ruled &I%6 to &I;;), the .ttoman Empire was, in many respects, an *slamic successor to the Eastern Roman (#y$antine) Empire. ,he .ttoman Empire ruled a large portion of the 7iddle East and Eastern Europe for over ;66 years. *t first formed in &%@@ and finally dissolved in &@%H, becoming the country of ,urkey. Rise of the )ttoman EmpireF ,he .ttoman Empire was founded by .sman *, a leader of the ,urkish tribes in Anatolia in &%@@. .sman * e!panded his kingdom, uniting many of the independent states of Anatolia under one rule. .sman established a formal government and allowed for religious tolerance over the people he con2uered. Capturing Constantinople F .ver the ne!t &I6 years the .ttoman Empire continued to e!pand. ,he most powerful empire in the land at the time was the #y$antine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). *n &'IH, 7ehmet ** the on2ueror led the .ttoman Empire in capturing onstantinople, the capital of the #y$antium Empire. He turned onstantinople into the capital of the .ttoman Empire and renamed it *stanbul. -or the ne!t several hundred years the .ttoman Empire would be one of the largest and most powerful empires in the world. )hen onstantinople fell to the .ttoman Empire, a large number of scholars and artists fled to *taly. ,his helped to spark the European Renaissance. *t also caused the European nations to begin to search for new trade routes to the -ar East, beginning the Age of E!ploration. !uleiman the "agnificent: ,he .ttoman Empire reached its peak during the reign of /uleiman the 7agnificent. He ruled from &I%6 to &I;;. 4uring this time the empire e!panded and included much of Eastern Europe including <reece and Hungary. *eclineF ,he .ttoman Empire began to decline in the late &;66s. *t ceased to e!pand and began to face economic competition from *ndia and Europe. *nternal corruption and poor leadership led to a steady decline until the empire was abolished and the country of ,urkey was declared a republic in &@%H. ReligionF Religion played an important role in the .ttoman Empire. ,he .ttomans themselves were 7uslims, however they did not force the peoples they con2uered to convert. ,hey allowed for hristians and ?ews to worship without persecution. ,his kept the people they con2uered from rebelling and allowed them to rule for so many years. The !ultanF ,he leader of the .ttoman Empire was called the /ultan. ,he title of /ultan was inherited by the eldest son. )hen a new /ultan took power he would put all of his brothers into prison. .nce he had a son of his own to inherit the throne, he would have his brothers e!ecuted.

8ersian Empire
#abylonian, Akkadians, Assyrians, /umerians, Hitites, #actrians, /cythians, 8arthians, 7edes, Elamites, Egyptians, EthiopiansM #efore the Romans, there were the 8ersians. ,hey basically unified the whole of entral Asia which consisted of a lot of different cultures, kingdoms, empires and tribes. *t was the largest empire in ancient history. At the height of its power, the empire encompassed appro!imately D million km%. ,he empire was forged by yrus the <reat, and spanned three continentsF Asia, Africa and Europe. ,he origin of the 8ersian Empire can be attributed to the leadership of one manN yrus the <reat. A brilliant and powerful 8ersian king, yrusG strategy for enlarging the 8ersian kingdom was to con2uer nearby lands and then unite them into one empire. ,hrough his skillful leadership and a strong military, yrus was able to create a vast empire that would last for more than two hundred years. ,he origins and impacts of yrus the <reatGs empire made it possible for the emperors who came after him, such as 4arius *, to continue to e!pand and control the 8ersian Empire. A people called the 7edes controlled the land that connects east and west Asia. ,he land was called 7edia. *n this land were small 8ersian kingdoms. Around II6 yrus the <reat, a 8ersian king, took control of these lands from the 7edes. He then formed a government and chose both 7edian and 8ersian nobles to be civilian offi cials. Ee!t, yrus used his strong military to attack states throughout Anatolia (Asia 7inor). /oon this region fell under his control. He went on to con2uer the lands to the east known as the -ertile rescent. ,he 8ersian empire was now immense. yrus was a skillful ruler. He adopted a policy of toleration toward the people he con2uered. -or e!ample, he allowed them to speak their own languages, practice their own religions, and follow their own ways of life. He also declared the first harter of Human Rights. Etched on a clay cylinder, this charter set forth yrusG goals and policies. His respect for the people made yrus popular and made it easier for him to create a peaceful and stable empire. After yrusG death, there was a period of unrest under a weak emperor. ,hen a strong emperor, 4arius *, came to power. #uilding on what yrus had achieved, 4arius divided the 8ersian Empire into several provinces to make it easier to govern. He appointed a governor called a satrap to carry out his orders in each province and to collect ta!es. 4arius also started use of a Royal Road that allowed messages, soldiers, and mail to be sent 2uickly across the empire. He promoted trade and business and established a law code. ,he 8ersian Empire would have a long life because of the efforts of 4arius. ,he 8ersian Empire had a great impact on the region and its people. yrus ruled through fear and tolerance. .nce people were con2uered, he showed them much generosity. -or e!ample, after con2uering -ertile rescent lands, he freed the Hebrew people from #abylonian rule. As a result, the Hebrews viewed yrus as a liberator and supported him. yrusG tolerant approach toward different religions also gained him much support. #ecause of this, his sub5ects seldom revolted and usually lived in peace. ,his made governing the empire an easier task. ,he impact of 4ariusG rule was also great. #y dividing the empire into provinces governed by satraps, 4arius created a government structure that helped him to control and fi nance the empire. ,he satraps gathered ta!es for the empire. ,he Royal Road enhanced communications and enabled yrus to receive news from all areas of his vast domain. ,his allowed him to put down uprisings 2uickly, defend his borders, and send his commands. ,he 8ersian Empire (II6 +HH&) was created through a combination of a strong military, skillful leadership, tolerance, and an effective government. ,hese elements also had a ma5or impact on the lives of the people within the 8ersian Empire and on the running of the empire.

A$tec Empire
Around &H66 E, a wandering tribe of *ndians wandered into the 9alley of 7e!ico. ,hese people were called the A$tecs. )hen the A$tecs arrived in the 9alley of 7e!ico, other tribes were already in residence. ,hey had already taken the best land. ,he A$tecs had to make due with the swampy shores of 3ake ,e!coco. #ut this did not bother the A$tecs. Eot only were they very clever people, but they had every faith that their main god had sent them to the swampy shores of 3ake ,e!coco, so obviously this place was perfect for them. ,hey adapted to their environment. ,hey built canoes, so they could fish and hunt birds that lived near the water. ,hey created floating gardens for growing food. ,hey created more land for agriculture by filling in the marshes. ,hey built dikes to hold back the water. After they settled in, they began to con2uer the neighboring tribes. ,hey con2uered first one tribe, and then another, and then another. Each con2uered tribe had to pay tribute to the A$tecs in the form of food, clothing, 5ewels, and of course, captives to feed the hungry gods. ,hat made the A$tecs very happy and very rich. ,he A$tecs e!panded and e!panded until they had built an empire. .ne day, around &I66 E, /panish soldiers arrived in the 9alley of 7e!ico. ,hey were ama$ed at what they saw. .ne soldier said, B,here were soldiers among us who had been in many parts of the world, in onstantinople and Rome and all over *taly, who said that they had never before seen a market place so large and so filled with people.C ,he /panish con2uered the A$tecs. ,he arrival of the /panish brought guns, horses, huge fighting dogs, and disease. #ecause the A$tecs were such fierce warriors, they might have had a slim chance of survival against guns and horses and huge fighting dogs. #ut they had no defense against disease. ,hey had never been e!posed to childhood diseases like measles. 7any became ill once the /panish arrived> many died. ,he /panish also received help from the other tribes in the area. ,hese tribes saw a chance to get even, and perhaps even to rid themselves of the feared and hated A$tecs. ,hese tribes did not e!pect to be con2uered themselves, which they were. Eor did they know how harshly the /panish would rule their people. #y the mid"&I66Gs, the A$tec Empire had collapsed, and the /panish had taken over the entire region. E#pansion: Around &'66 E, the A$tec government began con2uering neighboring tribes. ,he A$tec population had grown. ,hey needed many things to manage their growing population. ,hey needed new cities to house their population. ,hey needed new lands to feed their population. ,hey needed new captives to feed their hungry gods. /chools needed to be run. /torehouses needed to be filled. ,emples needed to be built. ,he government had its hands full trying to satisfy all these needs. Tribute: )ar was the answer. )hen the A$tecs con2uered a tribe, they demanded tribute in the form of food, clothing, precious stones, building supplies, and captives. ,he first four the A$tecs kept for themselves. ,he last they gave to their gods. .ther tribes hated and feared the A$tecs. /ometimes, they simply ran away in fear rather than fight. The Emperor ' Palace: ,he A$tecs had an emperor, a king who ruled over all the people. ,he emperor lived in the imperial palace in the capital city of ,enochtitlan. ,he palace was huge. *t even had its own $oo. ,he ground floor of the palace housed government offices and the shops of the most talented craftsman in the A$tec empire. Cit %!tates: As the A$tec empire grew, under the direction of government officials, A$tec engineers built many fine cities. A noble family controlled each city. Although the noble family was supposed to assist the emperor, the truth is

that each noble family pretty much ran things in their own city the way they wanted. ,hus, the A$tecs, like the 7ayas, were governed by city"states. Home Rule + Crime and Punishment: )ith their own people, the A$tec rulers were 2uite severe. A$tec courts decided on the punishment those who broke the law would receive. 4runkenness was the worse crime. ,he punishment for being drunk was death. ,hieves were put to death. 3aws were tough, and they were written down. odices warned of the punishment you would receive for breaking the law. The )ne Time Forgiveness La,: ,he A$tecs had an interesting law. .nce, and only once, you could confess your crime to the priests of ,la$olteotl and you would be forgiven. Eo punishment could be given to you. ,iming was everything. Oou could only do this once. And you had to do it before you were caught. *f evidence came to light after you confessed, you were safe. Oou had already been e!cused from punishment for that crime. However, if you ever committed other crime, you would be punished to the full e!tend of the law. A$tec laws were very harsh. The Rich: Homes of the nobles and wealthy were made of sun"dried brick. *f you were very wealthy, you home could be made of stone. All homes were whitewashed to make them look clean and shiny. Each noble home had a separate room for steam bathing. )ater was poured over heated stones. #athing was an important part of daily life and of religion. #athing was believed to clean both the body and soul. The Poor: Homes of the farmers and other commoners were huts with thatched roofs. -urniture was limited. ,hey might have mats on the floor and woven trunks to hold belongings. ,hey had blankets and pottery for cooking. Everyone had a garden of their own, including farmers. Correct -ehavior: ,he A$tecs were very concerned that all their citi$ens behave correctly. ,his code of behavior was written down. And it was the law. hildren were taught correct behavior in the A$tec schools. !laves: ,he A$tec nobles had slaves. /laves were not captured people. ,hey were A$tecs. Poetr : -or all their love of war, the A$tecs had a softer side. ,hey loved to write and to read poetry. 7uch of their poetry was about a heroic act of love, war, or religion. .ames: ,he A$tecs loved games. ,hey loved to give people a sporting chance. /ome of the games they played included a ball game similar to one played by the ancient 7aya. *n fact, the game probably was borrow from the 7ayas (who most probably borrowed it from the .lmecs, the people before them.) !chools: =ids went to school. ,o build the city they wanted, they knew that they would need many engineers, builders, and traders. ,o solve this problem, the A$tecs created schools for their children. Attendance at school was mandatory. All A$tec children had to attend school, even girls and slaves. ,he A$tecs were the only people in the world at this time in history to have free schools that every child had to attend by law.