History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedWhat was the first federalist country?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Iranian41ife View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Dec-2005
Location: Tajikista
Status: Offline
Points: 1832
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What was the first federalist country?
    Posted: 24-Feb-2006 at 21:54

What was the first federalist country?

The only one I know of is the Parthian Empire, but was there one before that?

WIKIPEDIA:

Quote

Government

After the conquest of Media, Assyria, Babylonia and Elam, the Parthians had to organize their empire. The former elites of these countries were Greek, and the new rulers had to adapt to their customs if they wanted their rule to last. As a result, the cities retained their ancient rights and civil administrations remained more or less undisturbed. An interesting detail is coinage: legends were written in the Greek alphabet, a practice that continued until the 2nd century CE, when local knowledge of the language was in decline and few people knew how to read or write the Greek alphabet.

Another source of inspiration was the Achaemenid dynasty that had once ruled the Persian Empire. Courtiers spoke Persian and used the Pahlavi script; the royal court traveled from capital to capital, and the Arsacid kings styled themselves "king of kings". It was an apt title, as in addition to his own kingdom the Parthian monarch was the overlord of some eighteen vassal kings, such as the rulers of the city state Hatra, the kingdom of Characene and the ancient kingdom of Armenia.

The Parthian Prince, found in Khuzestan ca. 100 CE, is kept at The National Museum of Iran, Tehran.
Enlarge
The Parthian Prince, found in Khuzestan ca. 100 CE, is kept at The National Museum of Iran, Tehran.

The empire was, overall, not very centralized. There were several languages, many peoples, and a number of different economic systems. The loose ties between the separate parts of the empire were a key to its survival. In the 2nd century CE, the most important capital, Ctesiphon, was captured no less than three times by the Romans (in 116, 165 and 198 CE), but the empire survived because there were other centers of power. On the other hand, the fact that the empire was a mere conglomeratation of kingdoms, provinces and city-states did at times seriously weaken the Parthian state. This was a major factor in the halt of the Parthian expansion after the conquests of Mesopotamia and Persia.

Local potentates played important roles, and the king had to respect their privileges. Several noble families had votes in the Royal council; the Srn clan had the right to crown the Parthian king, and every aristocrat was allowed and expected to retain an army of his own. When the throne was occupied by a weak ruler, divisions among the nobility became dangerous.

The constituent parts of the empire were surprisingly independent. For example, they were allowed to strike their own coins, a privilege which in antiquity was very rare. As long as the local elite paid tribute to the Parthian king, there was little interference. The system worked well: towns like Ctesiphon, Seleucia, Ecbatana, Rhagae, Hecatompylos, Nis, and Susa flourished.

Tribute was one source of royal income; another was tolls. Parthia controlled the Silk Road, the trade route between the Mediterranean Sea and China.

"If they attack Iran, of course I will fight. But I will be fighting to defend Iran... my land. I will not be fighting for the government and the nuclear cause." ~ Hamid, veteran of the Iran Iraq War
Back to Top
Maju View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar

Joined: 14-Jul-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6571
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2006 at 23:13
The Roman Empire worked much in the same manner. While the governors of the provinces (proconsuls, etc.) were appointed from Rome, the cities and tribes had large self-rule. Coinage was definitively decentralized also.

But I'm unsure about not existing earlier examples: Sumerian empires, such as the 3rd dynasty of Ur also allowed the subjugated cities to keep their own administration. The rare thing, I guess was a strongly centralized empire - after all we are talking of a time when information (and therefore decissions) travelled slowly and such a centralization was rather a weakness probably. Egypt was maybe the first centralized state of large dimensions, but even Egypt, a country that benefitted a lot from a centralized irrigation network, was born as an amalgamation of lesser units.

NO GOD, NO MASTER!
Back to Top
Iranian41ife View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Dec-2005
Location: Tajikista
Status: Offline
Points: 1832
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2006 at 09:59

Originally posted by Maju Maju wrote:

The Roman Empire worked much in the same manner. While the governors of the provinces (proconsuls, etc.) were appointed from Rome, the cities and tribes had large self-rule. Coinage was definitively decentralized also.

But I'm unsure about not existing earlier examples: Sumerian empires, such as the 3rd dynasty of Ur also allowed the subjugated cities to keep their own administration. The rare thing, I guess was a strongly centralized empire - after all we are talking of a time when information (and therefore decissions) travelled slowly and such a centralization was rather a weakness probably. Egypt was maybe the first centralized state of large dimensions, but even Egypt, a country that benefitted a lot from a centralized irrigation network, was born as an amalgamation of lesser units.

well, the roman empire had vassals. the parthian provinces were actually recognising themselves as parthians without force, much like the states in the USA recognise themselves as american with out force, the roman empire worked differently.

their vassal kingdom were technically part of the empire but were given self rule, like federalism, but then other parts of the empire were centralised.

"If they attack Iran, of course I will fight. But I will be fighting to defend Iran... my land. I will not be fighting for the government and the nuclear cause." ~ Hamid, veteran of the Iran Iraq War
Back to Top
Maju View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar

Joined: 14-Jul-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 6571
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2006 at 15:01
Hmmm... I'm not talking about vassals, like Mauritania, Bosporus or Armenia, but about the cities that made up the Empire. Sure that they were subservient to the centrality of the city of Rome (before Constantine) but also citizenship had been granted to all them anyhow, so they were provincial Romans in the full sense and had mostly total control of their own local affairs at the same time. Probably the system wasn't as "perfect" as that of Parthia in its federalism but it was enough to keep the Basque tribes alive and kicking for three or four centuries until feudalism attempted to brek their self-rule. The same can surly be said of many other tribes and cities of the Empire, each one ruling itself largely on their own.

So I'm not talking about vassal kingdoms but about municipal and tribal almost total autonomy.

NO GOD, NO MASTER!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.047 seconds.