Review and Asses History

Alexander the Great
Alexander’s succession allowed him opportunity for Macedonian expansion and the proliferation of Greek culture. Over a period of 13 years (336-323 B.C.E.), Alexander expanded Greek influence from Egypt to just West of the Indus River with tactical military brilliance.   Whenever he claimed an area for Macedonia he allowed local political structures to remain intact.   This was key to his success in holding influence over such a large area. His victory over the Persian capitol Persepolis resulted in a great distribution of wealth that created effects lasting beyond Alexander’s time. Though he had grand plans for further exploration and political development, Alexander died of a fever in 323 B.C.E., resulting in a scramble for power and eventual fragmentation of his Empire.
The scope of Alexander’s victory is staggering, and most definitely earns him a place in my top five. His courageous and just leadership earned him the devotion of a substantial army and a reputation throughout the ages as one of the greatest men to ever live. It fascinates me that one man could create such a lasting legacy in such a short time. I believe his true genius was in his style of occupation; his endorsement of political autonomy ensured continued stability and economic viability within his holdings.

Approaching the 10th Century, the West was in a state of chaos and instability.   This was due to increasingly destitute living conditions that were intensified by external aggression. Those who were vulnerable to this escalating disorder placed themselves under the protection of others.   The most effective warriors became the feudal nobility and gained control of land. These lords would then enter into feudal contracts with defenseless freemen, trading guaranteed protection for the right to tend soil (a fief). This period of social, economic, and political stability allowed for agricultural production to increase. This yielded phenomenal population growth...