Below Is A Preview (In Digital Format) Of The Book Rise and Decline: Where We Are and What We Can Do About It

Table Of Contents

Preface  ... xv

Case 1— Athens: Rise and Decline of the Independent City-State (594 BCE - 322 BCE)

Chapter 1.Executive Summary  ... 3
Chapter 2.Ancient Athens  ... 7
Chapter 3.Analysis and Discussion  ... 31
Chapter 4.Additional Reading  ... 53

Case 2— Rome: Rise and Decline of the Republic (509 BCE - 49 BCE)

Chapter 5.Executive Summary  ... 57
Chapter 6.The Roman Republic  ... 63
Chapter 7.Analysis and Discussion  ... 97
Chapter 8.Additional Reading  ... 123

Case 3— Poland: Rise and Decline of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569 - 1717)

Chapter 9.Executive Summary  ... 127
Chapter 10.The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth  ... 133
Chapter 11.Analysis and Discussion  ... 163
Chapter 12.Additional Reading  ... 177

Case 4— France: Rise and Decline of the Third Republic (1870 - 1940)

Chapter 13.Executive Summary  ... 181
Chapter 14.The Third Republic of France  ... 187
Chapter 15.Analysis and Discussion  ... 223
Chapter 16.Additional Reading  ... 251

Case 5— Britain: Rise and Decline of the United Kingdom (1689 - Present)

Chapter 17.Executive Summary  ... 255
Chapter 18.The United Kingdom  ... 263
Chapter 19.Analysis and Discussion  ... 339
Chapter 20.Additional Reading  ... 359

Case 6— America: Rise and Decline of the United States of America (1776 - Present)

Chapter 21.Executive Summary  ... 363
Chapter 22.The United States of America  ... 371
Chapter 23.Analysis and Discussion  ... 447
Chapter 24.Additional Reading  ... 487
Appendix A.Declaration of Independence  ... 489
Appendix B.United States Constitution  ... 493

Conclusions and Current Applications

Chapter 45.What Does It Mean For Us?  ... 521

Selected Pages

The United States of America is a federal republic.  Around 325 million people live in 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), and 5 major territories.  Nine minor territories have no permanent population.  These lands cover 3.8 million square miles.  The U.S.A. came into being in 1776, reached maturity around 1945 and has been in decline since around 1993.

Christopher Columbus discovered North America in 1492.  The first permanent European settlers were Spanish explorers who arrived at San Augustin (Florida) in 1565.  The first English settlers founded Jamestown (Virginia) in 1607.  In 1620, colonists on the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth in Cape Cod Bay.  By 1732 the 13 British colonies that would become the United States of America had been established.

The role of the colonies was to produce raw materials for England and consume manufactured goods imported from there.  They became increasingly vocal in their objections to that role with its increasing taxes and manufacturing restrictions.

Tensions grew.  Great Britain responded with increasing arrogance and repressive measures.  In 1773, colonists reacted to one of these, the Tea Act, by boarding English ships and dumping more than a thousand chests of tea into Boston Harbor and the Delaware River.  Great Britain’s response was more repression.

In 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia.  It agreed to boycott British goods and cease exports to Great Britain unless the ‘Intolerable Acts’ were repealed.  They weren’t.  Violent skirmishes at Lexington and Concord began the American war for independence.

In 1775, the Second Continental Congress created the Continental Army, with George Washington as Commander-in-chief.  It then affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and entreated the King to prevent further conflict.  A ‘Declaration of Causes’ promised to lay down arms “when Hostilities shall cease …” but before it was received in England, Great Britain issued a ‘Proclamation of Rebellion’ declaring American rebels to be traitors.


On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted a Declaration of Independence uniting the colonies as independent states in a war for independence. The Declaration begins:

  • We hold these truths to be self evident … that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness … to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …

These principles, together with the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791, comprise the raison d’être of the United States of America.

After more than 50 land and sea battles, Great Britain acknowledged American Independence.  The Treaty of Paris formally ended the American Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783.

In 1787, a convention of state delegates hammered out a new constitution, which begins with a preamble setting forth the founders’ purpose:

  • We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It then sets forth a system of ‘checks and balances’ intended to ensure effective functioning without abridging individual rights.  The new Constitution took effect in 1789.  The first 10 amendments guaranteeing individual and states’ rights (Bill of Rights) were ratified) in 1791.

George Washington was America’s first President under the new Constitution.  He could have been king.  But Washington was committed to the Republic; he absolutely refused to stand for a third term, thereby setting a precedent that lasted until 1940.

Territorial expansion begun with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 continued until 1916, by which time land area had more than quadrupled.  Helped by waves of immigrants, population surged by 56 times that of 1776, to about 140 million by 1945.

America became a respected and sometimes feared military and naval power before the end of the 19th century, largely because of the many wars it


fought.  These included scores of limited engagements, mostly with Indian tribes in North America.  And they included major campaigns – the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and, in the 20th century, World Wars I and II.  The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict ever fought by Americans.  It preserved the Union, and it enabled the end of slavery.

The United States made an early commitment to education and regularly reinforced that commitment with land grants and federal support.  By 1840, 55 per cent of children attended school.  By 1870, all states had free elementary schools and, by 1918 all children were required to complete elementary school.  In 1945, the median number of school years completed by all U.S. adults was 8.8.  By the mid-1970s almost 90 percent of adults had completed high school.

America’s history includes a continuing chronicle of individuals’ freedoms – expanding availability but also encroachments, erosions and direct attack by governments, citizens and institutions.  At its founding, not all people in the United States had equal political status, nor were all given liberty to pursue happiness.  The most egregious of such shortcomings involved slavery, American Indians and women.

(end of preview)

To read more, purchase this book directly from this website at: