When a Democracy Tries to Apply Imperial Policies Discussion

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Read “The Mytilenian Debate” and “The Melian Dialogue” on Blackboard as well as The West in Question 4 (Section 3). What happens when a democracy tries to be an imperial power? Are there compromises to be made in how a democracy treats others? After posting you should respond to at least two of your peers with a comment that is substantial and constructive (do not simply simply say I like your post) to debate the question.

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1- When a democracy tries to be an imperial power, it can cause a lot of backlashes and even war. Athens is a prime example of this, as it forced its way into colonies imposing their power and strength. In the case of the Peloponnesian War, Athens bullied city-states, such as Sparta, under their control. Their pride and greed caused Sparta to fight back, ultimately ending in disaster for Athens and its people.

As discussed in the “Mytilenian Debate” the revolt of the Mytilenians was caused because of the overwhelming pressure of imperialism by Athens. Mythilenia was an oligarchy and felt that it was protecting itself by siding against Athens during the Peloponnesian War. In the Melian Dialogue, Athens forces the small colony of Melos to side with Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Melos feels threatened by Athens’ boldness and is prepared to fight for their right to neutrality. Athens saw their neutrality as disrespect to their power and dominance and eventually conquered Melos.

In cases of imperialism, democracies need to compromise with the states they are trying to colonize. In cases of imperialism, it is best to follow what is morally just and fair. If they can compromise, they can reduce the amount of rebellion as they conquer other states. An inability to compromise war can occur, like with Sparta and Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

2-At any time a democracy asserts themselves as an imperial power, the effect leads to rebellions and unnecessary war. An example of this would be Athens. For example, Athens pushed their power and control over other colonies in order to build power. Another example would be the Peloponnesian War, where Athens controlled city-states. The excessive need for power and control led to the rebellion of Sparta to fight the dictating system. This war caused the end of Athens and death among many people.

In the discussion of imperialism, democracies should try to compromise with states they are trying to take over/control. Imperialism is best dealt with when those that seek power can be moral about others. If states can come to a civilized compromise, the decrease of rebellions, war and deaths can cease. The action of not having a concrete understanding can ultimately lead to war like Sparta and Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

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