Average age of world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years.Are we in decline ?

January 18, 2009

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:

1.    From bondage to spiritual faith;

2.    from spiritual faith to great courage;

3.    from courage to liberty;

4.    from liberty to abundance;

5.    from abundance to selfishness;

6.    from selfishness to complacency;

7.    from complaceny to apathy;
<—– you are here

8.    from apathy to dependence;

9.    from dependency back again into bondage.

Sir Alex Fraser Tyler: (1742-1813) Scottish jurist and historian


A example of the last 200 years from 1808 to


present. We are in decline.!



1808: The British West Africa Squadron was established by the

Royal Navy to suppress illegal slave trading along the West African

coast after the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. By 1865, nearly

 150,000 people had been freed by the Squadron’s anti-slavery

operations. The Squadron continued its work until the early 20th



The first public steam railway ran between the north eastern towns of Stockton and

Darlington. This ushered in the ‘Railway Age’, with the building of an extensive railway

network in Britain providing a fast and economical means of transport and communication.


Robert Peel sets up the Metropolitan Police

The first public steam railway ran between the north eastern towns of Stockton and

Darlington. This ushered in the ‘Railway Age’, with the building of an extensive railway

network in Britain providing a fast and economical means of transport and communication.

1834 New Poor Law reforms Britain’s social security system

In 1832, a Royal Commission into the Poor Law recommended changes to the system of parish

 poor relief. Many of its recommendations were incorporated into the Poor Law Amendment

Act of 1834. This statute maintained outdoor relief (relief given outside a workhouse), but led

to more central control of the system.


New Poor Law reforms Britain’s social security system


Income tax was levied for the first time during peace by Sir Robert Peel’s Conservative

government at a rate of 7d (three pence) in the pound. The tax threshold was an income of

£150 per year, thus exempting virtually all the working classes. The tax was not extended to

famine-torn Ireland until 1853. Direct taxation was unpopular in Victorian Britain.

 Many 19th-century finance ministers toyed with the idea of abolishing income tax, but it proved too convenient and too lucrative to lose.


1918 Limited numbers of women are given the vote for the first time

The Representation of the People Act enfranchised all men over the age of 21, and propertied

women over 30. The electorate increased to 21 million, of which 8 million were women, but it excluded working class women who mostly failed the property qualification.


1929: Wall Street Crash sparks the Great Depression


The crash of the American Wall Street financial markets in 1929 crippled the economies of the

 US and Europe, resulting in the Great Depression. In Britain, unemployment had peaked just

below three million by 1932. It was only with rearmament in the period immediately before

the outbreak of World War Two that the worst of the Depression could be said to be over.

1939~: Britain declares war on Germany in response to the invasion of Poland


On 1 September, German forces invaded Poland. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain still

hoped to avoid declaring war on Germany, but a threatened revolt in the cabinet and strong

public feeling that Hitler should be confronted forced him to honour the Anglo-Polish Treaty. Britain was at war with Germany for the second time in 25 years.


1945: Britain celebrates the end of war on Victory in Europe Day

German forces had been utterly defeated by the end of April 1945. Adolf Hitler committed

suicide on 30 April as Soviet forces closed in on his Berlin bunker. The German Grand Admiral

Karl Dönitz surrendered to Allied General Dwight Eisenhower in France on 7 May. The

following day was officially celebrated in Britain as Victory in Europe Day. The entire country

came to a standstill as people celebrated the end of war.

1973 Britain joins the European Economic Community


Britain, Ireland and Denmark joined the European Economic Community (EEC), bringing the

total number of member states to nine. The three countries, together with Norway, signed an

accession treaty in 1972, but Norwegians rejected the treaty in a referendum. Britain held a

referendum on the matter in 1975, after renegotiating its terms of entry, and 67% voted in favour of staying in the EEC.

1997: Tony Blair had become leader of the Labour Party in 1994 after the sudden death of John

 Smith. Blair continued the modernisation of the party begun by Smith. Voters responded to

‘New Labour’ in the 1997 election, giving the party a huge majority of 179 seats. One of the new

Labour government’s first acts was to give the Bank of England control of interest rates. It also

 embarked on a programme of far-reaching constitutional reform.

2001:British forces contributed to the initial US military strikes against the Islamic

fundamentalist Taleban regime in Afghanistan – the first retaliation to the terrorist attacks of

‘9/11’. The Taleban, who had allowed the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda to use Afghanistan as a

 base, was overthrown and replaced with a US-backed administration. Coalition forces,

including British troops, remain in Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader

responsible for the ‘9/11’ attacks, was not found.







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