Day of Empire- Essay

Essay: Day of Empire
Amy Chua, author of Day of Empire, explains how tolerance plays a key role in the rise and fall of history’s globally dominant empires. She explains what an empire is and what a hyper power is, and how one can properly differentiate between the two. Chua’s main argument is that in order for a civilization to properly grow and become a globally dominant power, it must be tolerant, while intolerance will lead to the opposite; the fall of the empire.
The first civilization that Amy Chua discusses about is the Achaemenid Persian Empire. This empire’s story begins with Cyrus the Great. His past is only legends, but by 559 BCE, he had become a vassal king under Astyages in Persia. A few years later, he led a rebellion and took over the Median kingdom in 550 BCE. Cyrus was a very tolerant leader, embracing new cultures and allowing the people he conquered to join him. He had high religious tolerance, which made him very favorable. When Cyrus died, he left the rule to Cambyses, who ruled from 530-522 BCE, but effectively expanding the kingdom. After him came Darius the Great who rules from 522-486 BCE. He continued the Achaemenid tradition of cultural and religious tolerance. Chua explains that from these policies of tolerance, Darius reaped tremendous benefits. Instead of wasting resources destroying conquered populations, Darius harnessed their different skills, talents, and resources. After Darius died, his son Xerxes took over. Xerxes broke the pattern of tolerance, being cruel, and intolerant of others. His behaviors led to uprisings and revolts, so that when Alexander and the Greeks came, they turned to him. Alexander followed the great Persian emperors before him, employing strategic tolerance to win favor. He raised the largest army on earth by incorporating tolerance. By 324 BCE, world dominance had passed from the Persians to the Greeks. For all his feats, Alexander’s greatest legacy was a degree of transcontinental cultural unity that...