Essay on Unity in an Empire

Submitted By samiwhee
Words: 1396
Pages: 6

AP Global Essay

An Empire or a Union, to be successful, needs several things to keep it from collapsing, it needs many things but it needs one important thing that holds the whole Empire or Union together and that is unity. Unity is defined as an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality according to Webster’s dictionary. For many this was hard to achieve for many reasons. The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire after the Roman Empire split in 285 CE by Emperor Diocletian. This was significant to the unity of the Byzantine Empire for several reasons, both good and bad. This meant that the emperor had less space to reign over so he or she could respond faster to problems and keep their people happier. This also meant that with two people ruling there might be conflict between powers over different things that concern both empires. It was also the remaining Roman Empire after the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 CE. This meant that, while in the West they were plunged into an age of darkness their empire was still thriving. Emperor Constantine came to power in 306 CE. He moved the capital to Constantinople which was a very strategic place where they could control the different trade routes on land and on sea. Under Constantine the Empire would thrive and become powerful. Constantine also adapted Christianity which would have an effect on the unity of the people in the empire. Unity can be imposed in many different ways, but not all ways are successful and to be successful means to have an empire that lasts and survives. The survival of the Byzantine Empire was based on the survival of the faith and independence of the people who lived within this vast great empire.1 The Byzantines were very successful in imposing unity on their people throughout the empire which helped them thrive for as long as they did. On way they imposed unity was by using religion. The Emperor Theodosius changed the religion in the Empire officially to Christianity. In the Western Rome, which eventually collapsed, they had very scattered and different religions going on throughout their empire which in some ways divided them, so when Theodosius made Christianity the official religion he brought a sense of unity to his Empire. Byzantine monks Cyril and Methodius created the Cyrillic alphabet to convert Slavs to the Orthodox Christian faith. These monks also made the Renaissance possible. Another thing that keeps an Empire unified is keeping the people happy. Emperor Justinian granted the rights of women to buy and own land which was a big help to widows after their husbands had died. This helped women and also kept them happy and feeling like they had some rights, which is a big difference from other times where women had virtually no rights. Justinian also established many reforms in law. He had all the Roman laws, which were written down over hundreds of years and in many different documents reviewed. Then he had them rewritten into a single book called the Justinian Code. Justinian also stabilized the economy by creating one type of coin for the whole Empire which helped the economy and further developed their industries like the silk industries which became their major economic branch. The Byzantines were one of the greatest Empires in Europe’s history. They survived many things and still were able to be prosperous and successful. They survived the splitting of the Holy Roman Empire and managed to stay unified while in the West there were different languages, religions, coins, and more. They had a consistency with all of these which effected weather they would fall like their Western brothers or if they would thrive for one thousand years. They ended up thriving for that thousand years because of their unity and consistency. The European Union is set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbors, like the world wars that were staged there in years before. The six founders of the European