News Decoder
Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Primitive tribes helped topple the powerful Roman Empire. Did attacks on the U.S. by Islamist extremists 20 years ago augur the end of a superpower? The Statue of Liberty and New York City’s skyline as smoke rises from the ruins of the Twin Towers, four days...

We often hear that history repeats itself. A core tenet of News Decoder’s mission is to help students place current events in a broader historical context. Correspondent Gene Gibbons looks beyond today’s headlines all the way back to ancient Rome to show how pride, corruption, strategic overreach and other political mistakes have contributed to the decline of superpowers, then and now.

Exercise: Ask students to debate the question in the headline, providing evidence for their position.

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