The World History Honors History Essay

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You and a partner are going to create a comparison in which you compare/contrast one of the classical empires we've studied in this unit to something in our modern day. Suggestions include to compare it to a modern corporation/company, professional sports team, etc…something large and influential! You are going to be researching both your assigned empire and the topic of comparison you've chosen.

Part I: Research your empire

My Empire: The Mauryan Empire

Political History:

Where did the empire expand?

What type of government did the empire have and how did it change with time?

How does this empire treat its subject peoples?

Name 2 rulers and explain why they are significant

It started in Magadha, west of the Ganges Delta, and at its height stretched from the Ganges Delta in the east to the Khyber Pass, to Hindu Kush in the West, to the Deccan Plateau in the south, and to the base of the Himalaya in the north.

The Mauryan Empire for essentially all of its life had a set bureaucracy, with the emperor and his advisors at the top, viceroys controlling 4 regions, governors controlling smaller provinces. There also were yet smaller districts and then villages. The only way government really changed was in how its leaders ruled. Candra Gupta, Bindusara, and Asoka (to start) were rather cruel and brutal, but Asoka underwent a transformation to become one of the most benevolent and progressive rulers of his time.

Once again, to start conquered peoples were treated harshly, with forced migrations and the like. However, after Asoka's transformation, different peoples were taken over not by war, but by the Buddha's message of dharma (morality). In addition, Asoka decided that he wanted to make his empire a more pleasant place. Some of his methods were building rest stops on highways and supporting environmental conservation.

Candra Gupta Maurya: He was ruler of the state of Magadha (on the Ganges), and proceeded to conquer other kingdoms to form the empire. Also, he relied heavily on India's equivalent of Niccolo Machiavelli: Kautilya. Kautilya, in addition to advising Candra Gupta, also wrote a book about how to govern effectively: Arthashastra.

Asoka: The most famous emperor of the Maurya, Asoka started out like any other Mauryan ruler: he brutally conquered territories and obeyed the principles of Arthashastra. However, after a very bloody battle to conquer the state of Kalinga, Asoka was appalled. He converted to Buddhism, and had edicts carved into stone across the empire stating his policies, many of which seem progressive even by today's standards.

Economic History

What are the main economic pursuits of the empire?

Economic history continued

How did the empire manage its economy (i.e. collect taxes)

Were there any significant technologies developed?

How did the economy change over time?

The main economic pursuits of the Mauryan where all very successful because of the great and benevolent emperor Asoka. The internal and external trade boomed within India and onto the silk road. Chandragupta Maurya established a single currency across India, and a network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice and security for merchants, farmers and traders. The creation of highway rest stops made them grow economically.

The Mauryan empire collected taxes for their regimental revenue using the arthashastra for fair taxation. The way that their taxation was fair was that they used a majority of the tax money towards public works such as the construction of thousands of roads, waterways, canals, hospitals, rest-houses and other public works.

They developed many technologies and techniques to make Iron stronger and more long-lasting.

There were many changes in economy over time in the Mauryan empire. For instance when Asoka became emperor, all manufactured goods came stamped with a date, which would then be used by consumers to determine the age of the product.  Farmers were freed of tax and crop collection burdens from regional kings. The sale of merchandise was strictly regulated. Prices were monitored to make sure that a merchant was not making too much of an unreasonable a profit. A trade superintendent did a careful evaluation of the product, the price, the demand and supply situation as well as the production cost. He would then fix a value for the commodity.

Social History

Identify and explain two significant religious or intellectual beliefs within the empire.

What were gender roles like for people living in this empire?

Provide/explain 2 architectural achievements of this empire.

Hinduism: Hinduism was the major religion at the time of inception of the empire, Hindu priests and ministers used to be an important part of the emperor's court, for example, Chanakya. The Hindu Vedic teachings of Ahimsa (non-violence) were used in different aspects of law enforcement.

Buddism: Ashoka initially practiced Hinduism but later embraced Buddhism. following the Kalinga War, he renounced expansionism and aggression, and the harsher injunctions of the Arthashastra on the use of force, intensive policing, and ruthless measures for tax collection and against rebels.


The gender roles in the Mauryan Empire were similar to any others. The women basically stayed at home taking care of the children and the house while the men of the house went and work. The men were considered the head of the house hold and made all of the executive decisions for their family.

Some of the finest examples of Mauryan architecture are the famous Asokas pillars that he erected across the country. These columns were works of art, architecture and engineering. The pillar was made out of a single stone which was cut, shaped and polished. Adorning the pillar was a four lion sculpture which rested on a highly polished and chiselled capital depicting animals and flowers. The engineering skill required to make all this possible was indeed substantial, massive blocks of stone had to be hauled in from quarries that were often hundreds of miles away. In some cases they even had to haul the stone to the tops of hills.


What were the external reasons for the fall of the empire? What role did invasion play?

Collapse/weaknesses cont…

What were the internal reasons for the fall of the empire?

1. Invasion played no role at all in the fall of the Mauryan Empire. In fact, there were no major external problems at all involved with its demise.

2. The Mauryan Empire's collapse was essentially all due to internal problems. First, Asoka deviated from the Arthashastra principles that allowed the empire to stay in power and govern effectively. In addition, Asoka decided to divide the empire between his grandsons, essentially guaranteeing fragmentation at the very least.

Part II: Research your modern day topic

What I'm comparing the empire to: Ben and Jerry's

Structure of the Organization

How is it organized? What is the leadership like? How many leaders are there? How do they choose who heads the organization?

Have there been any major changes in terms of how the organization has been structured?

1. For most of their history, Ben and Jerry's was run by the two men in the name. However, after Unilever took over, Jostein Solheim, a Norwegian, was installed as CEO. Johein was previously head of Unilever's North American ice cream brands: Breyers, Klondike, and Popsicle. In terms of actual structure, there are general managers at the bottom, scoop shop owners above them, then directors of things like marketing, senior directors of again things like marketing, vice presidents, and finally the CEO.

2. YES! To start, the company was literally run by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, 2 Long Island guys who moved to Burlington, Vermont and opened an ice cream shop in an old gas station building. Until 2000, they were the heads of the company. However, Dutch food conglomerate Unilever bought Ben and Jerry's for $326 million, though Ben and Jerry themselves still have considerable influence in the company.

Economic Pursuits

What are the main economic pursuits of the organization?

Any significant technological developments?

Ben & Jerry's is sold (out) to Unilever, the world's third-largest consumer goods company, described by one commentator as "a giant multinational clearly focused on the financial bottom line, but then Ben and Jerry's comes to an agreement and using economic strategies and got the corporation back on its feet.

No, it is an ice cream company.

Labor Components

What are some key ideas that run the organization?

What is the labor force like for this organization? What is their relationship like to the leadership?


What are some overall strengths and weaknesses of how the organization runs, what it pursues, and what it has accomplished over the years?

Any problems that are looming in the future for the organization that should be taken into consideration?

Strengths: They have a loyal following and are still allowed to do their own thing even though Unilever owns them. Also, they have stated that profit is just 1/3 of the company's goal.

Weaknesses: They have had controversial flavor names and misleading info on their packaging.

Accomplishments: Ben and Jerry's have gone from just one small scoop shop in Burlington to a 40-country wide organization. In addition, they have maintained their social activism ideals; the Ben and Jerry's Foundation supports organizations through grant programs that give out about $1.8 million each year.

2. Possibly Unilever could restrict Ben and Jerry's more, but I think they like the weirdness and I do not believe any restrictions will manifest.


The Mauryan Empire is like Ben and Jerry's Corporation because….

Sub Comparison



Just as Ben and Jerry's uses TV commercial ads to advertise their new products, the Mauryan empire had their own way of advertising the new religion of Buddhism, and their political happenings. The Mauyran empire sent out messengers on horseback that ride through towns and make the advertisements and announce what is going on in the Empire politically, socially, and economically. Asoka advertised the new religion of Buddhism by writing religious texts on stone columns and put one around every popular place in Mauryan India

Transport network

Just as Ben and Jerry's uses trucks, highways, and plane, the Mauryan empire had a transportation network. The Mauryan empire had s system of highways going kind of in an outer loop and branching inward, effectively reaching almost every nick and nook basically of the Mauryan Empire

Produce things

Just as Ben and Jerry's produces delicious ice cream, the Mauryan Empire produce many products that they traded also. Crops such as wheat, barley, spices, silk, diamonds were produced and traded by the Mauryans.

Famous Leader

Most empires have at least one really famous leader, though this is not always true for corporations. However, In the case of Ben and Jerry's, it absolutely is. Ben and Jerry are the actual names of two Vermont guys who started one of the most popular ice cream franchises in the world. The Mauryans had Asoka, whose pillar edicts still grace the Indian countryside.

Progressive Policies

Ben and Jerry's has a well-earned reputation for being made up of far-left social activists. From the start, they tried to find ways to reduce their impact on the environment and support other groups that do this as well. However, what most people know about Asoka is that he had edicts carved into stone across his empire. What they do not realize is that in these edicts Asoka talks about conservation of resources and helping the poor. He seems to be one of the most progressive and far-left rulers certainly of his time, and possibly for a great deal longer.


For large entities to exist, they need to have some structure of higher-ranking people and lower-ranking people, each with different jobs. Both the Mauryans and Ben and Jerry's have this sort of structure. From top to bottom with the Mauryans, it is Emperor, Viceroys, Governors, District Leaders, and Village Leaders. With Ben and Jerry's it is CEO, vice presidents, senior directors, directors, scoop shop owners, and scoop shop general managers.