Empire

The term empire derives from the Latin imperium (power, authority). Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy.

Aside from the traditional usage, the term empire can be used in an extended sense to denote a large-scale business enterprise (e.g. a transnational corporation), or a political organisation of either national-, regional- or city scale, controlled either by a person (a political boss) or a group authority (political bosses).

An imperial political structure is established and maintained in two ways: (i) as a territorial empire of direct conquest and control with force (direct, physical action to compel the emperor's goals), and (ii) as a coercive, hegemonic empire of indirect conquest and control with power (the perception that the emperor can physically enforce his desired goals). The former provides greater tribute and direct political control, yet limits further expansion because it absorbs military forces to fixed garrisons. The latter provides less tribute and indirect control, but avails military forces for further expansion. Territorial empires (e.g. the Mongol Empire, the Median Empire) tended to be contiguous areas. The term on occasion has been applied to maritime empires or thalassocracies, (e.g. the Athenian and British Empires) with looser structures and more scattered territories.

Read more about Empire:  Definition, Timeline of Empires

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Famous quotes containing the word empire:

    It has never occurred to me to wish for empire or royalty, nor for the eminence of those high and commanding fortunes. My aim lies not in that direction; I love myself too well.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

    Positively I sit here, and look at Europe sink, first one deck disappearing, then another, and the whole ship slowly plunging bow-down into the abyss; until the nightmare gets to be howling. The Roman Empire was a trifle to it.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918)

    Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch
    Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space.
    Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
    Feeds beast as man. The nobleness of life
    Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair
    And such a twain can do ‘t, in which I bind,
    On pain of punishment, the world to weet
    We stand up peerless.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)