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Alexander the Great Really is Great

Philip II created a culture amongst the fractured tribes in the Macedonian Kingship and established new military techniques that allowed for expansion, but it was Alexander the Great that propelled the Macedonian empire to new heights of domination across the Mediterranean. His personality was one that could not be emulated or underestimated; it secured his spot on the throne and ultimately established an empire too massive for the average leader to run. In contemporary society, Britain established America with colonies in the New World, but America became a supreme power because colonials spilt off from Britain and created their own style of government. While America originated from British establishment, its rise as a supreme power resulted from acting as its own country rather than relying on British philosophies and governing styles to run the nation. Alexander the Great and America share similar histories by seizing an opportunity to enhance previously successful foundations in regimes like Philip II’s Kingship and the British colonies.

            Philip II died after uniting the tribes of Macedonia under new territory and military techniques, however, it was Alexander the Great who seized this opportunity of taking an established kingdom and propelling it to new heights through aggressive and rapid expansion throughout the Mediterranean. His thoughtful campaigning and clever political tactics united the Macedonians even more so and caused them to fight fearlessly under one Kingship. By relying on his charismatic personality in situations like fighting in the front lines, cutting the Gordian Knot and spreading the story of his divinity from Siwah, he secured his followership amongst the people of Macedonia. Nagle and Burstein bolster the argument that Alexander the Great was a demi-god, saying:

Callisthenes dramatically adds that, although the oracle of Apollo among the Branchidae had ceased to speak from the time the temple had been robbed by the Branchidae… and although the spring also had ceased to flow… at Alexander’s arrival the spring began to flow again and that many oracles were carried by the Milesian ambassadors to Memphis concerning Alexander’s descent from Zeus. (Nagle and Burstein, 254)

Alexander calculated every move his made in the political arena. Nagle and Burstein show how Alexander encouraged stories of his own divinity, which helped solidify his place on the throne. Philip II left a kingdom, but he also left with no instructions on how to run it. Alexander took something great and transformed it into something astounding. His timely death cut his reign short, however, he managed to transform the kingdom Philip II left behind and should be credited with the result of creating a massive empire.

            America mimics Alexander’s method taking something great and expanding it by taking what Britain established in the New World and transforming it through a new government. America rewrote a government based on representing people based on those who are elected by the people. America was fine under British rule, but it was not prospering. Instead, under British rule, America lacked representation in parliament, yet Britain taxed the colonies without any say in the tax regulations. The nation was indebted to Britain, but was established extremely far from the nation. One Revolutionary War and failed Articles of Confederation later, America gained independence and a democracy. The founding fathers could have repeated the same type of government as Britain, however, George Washington wanted to establish the president that the nation will not be run under a military; instead, elections will determine who governs our nation. By establishing a governing body based on checks and balances, the collective voice of the people could be heard and represented. The idea of freedom and independence allowed for the nation to prosper in ways unparalleled by the British parliament. By deciding to establish a checks-and-balance system rather than another parliament, America paved its own path that established and maintained global supremacy.

            Alexander the Great and America are responsible for their successes due to their own innovative ways of expanding their power. While regimes like Philip II and Britain created the foundation for each empire, it was those who took over and fostered it under their own philosophies that turned each empire to a dominating government. Philip II and Britain did not plan for nations that would turn to supreme powers. The charisma and cunningness of Alexander the Great and the contemporary practice of democracy in America paved the way for each government to expand upon its power and become something worth remembering in history.

Word Count: 739

Krystyna Bartocci

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