Growth of Macedonia Compared to the Growth of America

Macedonia was subject to two growth spurts during its time period, thanks to two men who held power. Prior to these two men, Macedonia was a tiny kingdom which was behind Athens and Sparta. Macedonia lacked military strength, innovation, or leadership. King Phillip II came into power in 359 BCE, and with him came the updated military that gave Macedonia the backbone that it needed in order to not only protect herself, but it also gave Macedonia the strength to conduct a conquest which would expand the borders of this ancient power. Phillip II introduced numerous military innovations that would increase the productivity of the ground fighter. Sarissa spears, lighter armor, torsion, were all technological advances that were shown to improve not only the individual soldier, but would increase the efficiency of the unit as a whole. Phillip II was also a pioneer in the use of cavalry to increase the mobility of soldiers. 

Technological and military advances provided by Phillip II were necessary for the expansion of Macedonia. Phillip II laid the groundwork for his son, Alexander the Great to take this strong, experienced military into the conquest of Persia. He invaded Persia in 334 BCE. Over the course of 10 years, and the cat and mouse chase between him and Persian king Darius III, Alexander had conquered the strongest nation in Asia. By this point, Macedonia has reached its prime of a powerful nation. While Alexander led a great conquest into Persia, he would not have been able to conduct this conquest without the foundation that was laid by Phillip II. It was him who built the military, and honed its edge into a conquestable force.

Macedonia is a prime example of a nation who developed power over the course of a generation, and then exploited that growth in the next generation to great success. Not many examples are shown in modern history in which a country goes from being a lackluster, powerless country to becoming a superpower. If one were to look at a graph that would show the magnitude of a country’s power versus time, the line would either remain stagnant, or have a very slight slope upwards or downwards based on the course of the country’s international influence. As time went on, there were many more variables that developed that must have been considered in determining a country’s power. In Macedonia, it had a very steep slope in the years between 359 and 323 BCE, Macedonia’s power slope is rather steep.

In the years prior to World War II, the United States was in a time of depression, which showed some of the lowest rates of employment in the nation’s history. It’s military had not made major developments to better itself, and was being outpaced by the powers of Germany and Japan. This was a major lowpoint in the US. When Japan struck on Pearl Harbor in 1941, it threw the United States into WWII. WWII placed demands on the United States to build a strong military, with the power and technological innovation to maintain and win a war in the oceans, skies, and grounds of the enemy’s regime. The United States met these demands, and was able to win the war. Following the war, the United States was recognized as a national millitary powerhouse, and has lived up to that ever since. Consistent technological development, mass production capability, and growth of military leadership have had exponential growth since WWII. The American military today is a clear result of the potential to grow and adapt shown in WWII.

  • Jackson Mitchell

Word Count: 595

3 thoughts on “Growth of Macedonia Compared to the Growth of America

  1. I agree with you. Philip II is the main reason for Alexander the Great’s success. Philip’s military innovations are exactly the advantages that Alexander needed to conquer the vast region he conquered. Like I said in my paper, Philip II made the blue print and began to put the plan into action then he died. After Philip’s death, Alexander came right along and picked up where his father left off, all he had to do was follow the blueprint. For example,a leprechaun dies and drops the map leading exactly to the gold after working his whole life mapping out the treasure. Then, I come right along and pick up the map and follow it right to the gold! In this case, I am Alexander the Great and the leprechaun is Philip II. Also, The example of The US military was one that I did not think about. After reading your blog, I understand why you mentioned this. It is a great example of a regime learning from its predecessor that was deficient in a way to become very effective in its tactics as time went along.


  2. This is overall a solid entry and i have no doubt that you have done your research. I agree with your argument on why Phillip II was more instrumental to the overall success of Macedonia. I think that you may have been a little too general in your intro when you talk about the fact that Phillip II gave Macedonia the backbone needed for a successful campaign. He did do that of course, but how? I think it would have been great if you expanded on that point and discussed how he did so. Phillip was so crucial because he was able to unite all of the Macedonian tribes to work together towards one goal, thus then they were able to carry out their military campaign. Also your example of the United States was solid, but talk more specifics about the type of regime in place and how it was changed after the predecessors left it. Overall, a good easy to read blog post.


  3. I made a similar comparison as you did, comparing the success of Phillip II and Alexander the Great to the success of America. The empire of Macedonia was very weak and vulnerable until the great leader of Phillip II came into power. Phillip II was able to build up a great military and expand into the surrounding cities. But I choose to argue that Alexander the Great was able to capitalize on the opportunity he was given. Yes, his success is built off of the success his father had, but he was able to take that and move forward with building the Macedonian empire. Like Alexander the Great, America was able to do the same thing when they separated from Britian. America was given an opportunity to become the great country it is now and like Alexander the Great, took advantage of this opportunity and built up a great country.


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