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Old 11-30-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,744 posts, read 37,402,611 times
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Default How Rich were ancient kingdoms?

This interesting point was made by a poster over in another forum, and is food for thought:

Quote:

Did you know some of the countries (India, Mexico, China, some of Africa) we consider 3rd world were once rich and wealthy? When they lost the ability to care for those who needed care in their borders (compassion lost), they began the shift to thrid world poverty.
Is it a fact that those ancient kingdoms possessed a "wealth" that no longer prevails under modern economic theories?

One thing is sure, their populations were a tiny fraction of what they are now.

Last edited by jtur88; 11-30-2009 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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Yes, that is why my suggestion in the other post about welfare maintains American wealth (based on per capita) as well. Legitimacy preserves wealth as a nation. Read "Population Bomb" by Erlich

Try research with this:

http://www.amazon.com/Legitimacy-Wealth-Ancient-Directions-Archaeology/ (broken link)

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft96...es/mcgurn.html

http://www.history.com/topics/worldhistory

Guns Germs, & Steel: Home

Ancient India - The British Museum

Ancient Mexico: The Civilizations of Ancient Mesoamerica

Do you remember the purpose of Columbus' trip was to find a faster trade route to these ancient kingdoms?
Hence Native Americans were called Indians....etc...Early explorers were disappointed by the lack of gold....
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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His first sentence was correct, the second almost dismissively incorrect. Where did you get that from - the political forum? Hopefully the poster stays there. India, Mexico, and China all had wealthy prosperous city/states at one time. Africa has some wealthy kingdoms (ironically, some made rich by slave trade).

The shift to 3rd world poverty is much to complex to blame on one factor or another, certainly not on "the ability to care for those inside it's border". If anything, the opposite is to blame. One can blame the fall of the roman empire on the society of entitlement of the roman citizen. Basically, you had an entire class in ancient Rome that did nothing but be cared for by the state. Properity lead to lethargy and lead to decline. It's more complex that that...but still, the point is entitlment, taken to the extreme, can destroy a nation as much as help it - economically, morally, and socially.

The term "compassion" is irrelevant to this discussion. It's a subjective term best left to the political forum.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingGA View Post
Yes, that is why my suggestion in the other post about welfare maintains American wealth (based on per capita) as well. Legitimacy preserves wealth as a nation. Read "Population Bomb" by Erlich

Try research with this...
Curious, I don't see any of your links being relevant to the topic. Maybe I misunderstood, first one linked to nothing, second was about population control, third was just to what looked like the history channel....why all the non-relevant links?
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post

The term "compassion" is irrelevant to this discussion. It's a subjective term best left to the political forum.
Do you mean to say that history has unfolded without the influence of compassion or any other "subjective" human attributes like greed and anger and spite and fear? And none of those are relevant to the analysis of historical events? History can be studied through only objective observations, like gravity and the speed of light and the tensile strengths of materials and trigonometry?
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: southern california
49,388 posts, read 45,978,992 times
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good post. yes indeed how did the former giants become midgets?
answer is always the same
wars and debt.
but they were stupid, not at all like us.
we be cool and oh so sexy.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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Yes, denial of facts....first strategy of any attack...

My first grade teacher taught me about Columbus seeking a faster trade route to these other countries and instead found what we now call USA. If they were not wealthy, or had anything why was so much of South American ransacked for gold....Native Americans called Indians,etc...

Anyone else learn this from elementary school? Or is it just because I'm close to 40 and all states had the same history of the 13 colonies back then?

History is history and most of it is well documented.

The person who high jacked this post from a different topic, seems to have his own agenda in putting it here. :-)
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Do you mean to say that history has unfolded without the influence of compassion or any other "subjective" human attributes like greed and anger and spite and fear? And none of those are relevant to the analysis of historical events? History can be studied through only objective observations, like gravity and the speed of light and the tensile strengths of materials and trigonometry?

Ummm, no.
I'm really missing the point of the original post, is this an attempt to bring the healtcare debate to the history forum? The above only confuses me more on the point you are trying to make, or the topic you are trying to discuss.

It can be argued that society is a by-product of ones government that they existed under. Ancient governments - those monarchies and city-state fuedulistic societies, and the larger empires like Rome, the citizens of the state existed to serve the government, not the other way around. One can argue that "compassiion" is a modern thought that did not exist until the age of enlightenment, when governments slowly came around to the thought that a government existed to serve the people. Some ancient societies took care of there people indeed, as a mother takes care of her children. But they can also be ruthless to the extreme to there own people, a person was property of the state, as was everything they owned, and individual rights again was a concept that did not surface until the 18th century in most cases.

So now we can dismiss compasion, or the lack of it, as a contributing factor to national wealth or survival (it's much more complex than that). Other factors - resources, trade, technological advancement, the fortunes of war (internal or external), leadership, diplomacy, natural disasters - those are deciding factors. Each of the civilizations you mentioned (india, mexico, china) was at a disadvantage in one or more of those areas prior to it's decline.

Last edited by Dd714; 11-30-2009 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
11,255 posts, read 9,635,278 times
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Wealth is culturally defined and cannot be compared cross-culturally and throughout time. After all, you would have been Da' Bomb if you had a boatload of Cowrie Shells in the South Pacific before Europeans came along; and all your gold would be nothing but dead weight.

A more fair comparison would be the relative influence of people in power over their countrymen. Using that definition would mean wealthy people today are pretty poor, especially compared to the Chinese Emperors, Egyptian Pharaohs, even midevil kings.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Just one definitional point, the reference to 1st, 2nd (hardly ever used) and 3rd world were originally intended to only denote where on the political scale a country lied. 1st world, western democracies; the second, the Soviet bloc; and third world, for those nations aligned with neither.
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