Before any discussion about the Roman Empire begins, we should put things in perspective. The rise and fall of Rome was a spectacular historical progression. Although the fall of Rome is often described as some sort of event, the truth is that the rise and fall of Rome occurred over the course of 1,000 years with the final 200 years broadly being seen as the period of decline. The USA has only existed for 235 years and has only been a superpower for about 100 of those years. This doesn’t mean we have 765 years left to party, but some perspective is appropriate. The tendency to view the fall of Rome as an event and not a gradual progression is highly misleading.