1. Why study Empire?
The study of empire is important in understanding the developments and changes that took place are still taking place in the world today. To a large extent, the world can be explained the way is because of the empires that have existed through out history. However, before understanding why it is important to study empire, one needs to know the meaning of the word. The word empire has continually been evolving with developments and instances that took place in historical eras. For this reason, the definition of empire cannot be attributed to one factor. As Stephen Howe states, the word has a complicated history and many different, fiercely contested meanings. It has also been intertwined with newer but equally contested words such as imperialism, colonialism, globalization and so on. The study of empire is important because it encompasses a vast space and time that still explains the origin of most countries and how these origins have shaped the these countries or states today. As some scholars believe that the ‘world is becoming flat due to globalization’, modern as well as historical migration patterns (people, technology, commerce) can be explained by studying empire. Howe further asserts that ‘since the end of formal colonial empire, the flows of mass migration have been even more complicated and multi-directional and have still often followed routes first established in colonial times. This also leads to another important aspect of why there’s need to study empire – to understand the culture that is found in different parts of the world today– dress, mannerism, religion practices, they all trace back to historical empires.
2. Are empires good or bad?
It is not easy to answer this question by agreeing to either one or the other. The notion of empires ruling outside the borders of their territories is always associated with dominance over the owners of those territories – which in this case can be considered a bad thing. On the other...