Alexander the Great, one of the most important military figures of all time was the Macedonian King and the conqueror of the Persian Empire. Alexander was a leader who employed various innovative military strategies to conquer new territories to expand his empire. His quest to enlarge his empire made profound effects on the world at that time. In fact, Alexander the Great Conquests altered the political landscape of the Afro-Eurasian world in several ways. His military conquests not only defeated his enemies but also connected all the cities and the people Alexander met on his way from Macedonia to India. It improved trade in addition to making serious changes on the Western and Eastern cultures. Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia is a leader that made quite an impact on the political landscape of the Afro-Eurasian world.
Alexander the Great’s conquests made a great impact on the world. The conquests bridged the gap between the West and the East in addition to marking the beginning of the Hellenistic age. Moreover, he took extra risks and managed to triumph over the Persian Empire and annexed it to Macedonia making it a big empire (Anson 153). Most importantly, the conquests were significant in the development of the Afro-Eurasian economy thus making great political changes. Alexander accomplished a lot in his short life of 33 years making him one of the influential personalities of the ancient times because he is one of the people who were able to make great changes and achievements in Greece in a short time span.
Alexander the Great’s military conquests led to political expansions in Greece. His victories ushered in an era of thinking and this transformed the Greek achievements in their way of life and politically. He managed to restore Macedonians intermittent power, which was threatened by the Thracian tribes to the North (Anson 181). Alexander the Great laid a stable groundwork for political systems thus stabilizing the political landscape of several cities including the Indus River Valley, which brought serious political changes in India, coupled with the quick spread of Hellenism.
In addition, Alexander great Conquests led to the emergence of a cosmopolitan world. There was a setup of several capitals in the East because he created a stable environment for trade in these cities without the fear of attack. According to Anson, the military conquest managed to break down the barriers between Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean thus bringing them to a common ground of trade (110). The setting up of capitals in the East led to the settling of soldiers in the East and this affected the Afro-Eurasian political landscape. Under Alexander the Great’s rule, the cities flourished and trade was promoted to various parts of the country, for instance, the development of the Silk Road, Palmyra, and Petra (Pollard and Howard 110). Many cities because very popular due to the expansion of trade and a good example is the city of Alexandria which now became the capital city of Egypt. In fact, Alexandria became a model of the Hellenistic city where there were different activities that helped build the cosmopolitan cities.
During this time, Macedonia grew into a territorial state, which managed to conquer all of its neighboring states using its resources as well as profits from the slave trade. The military had resources, which helped them purchase new military equipment for the army, and this helped them in their victory. After succeeding his father, Alexander the Great moved his armies to the Persian Empire to the East and they captured vast stretches of land. Alexander’s conquests let to an immense increase in fraternization of many nations as well as an increase in international trade.
Alexander the Great’s conquests had several profound effects not only on the political landscape but also on the western and eastern culture. Alexander’s victories led to cultural diffusion. Bosworth notes that, with the growth of his empire and the creation of several kingdoms, the Greeks managed to influence the cultural spread from the Mediterranean to Asia through the interaction of the soldiers and the natives (33). In addition, it also led to the expansion of trade routes between Asia and Europe and the opening of these new trade routes increased trade as well as the cultural and religious exchange between the West and the East. In fact, Greek became the main language of trade and the use of this common language changed the political landscape because Alexander the Great managed to abolish the power of competing with the Greek city-states. The common language facilitated communication during trade and the exchange of ideas between the people in the cities.
Alexander’s conquest bridged the gap between Western Asia and the Mediterranean. The pursuits marked the beginning of the Hellenic Age, which has lasted for several years. The Hellenistic culture saw the expansion passage of the armies through Tibet and the modern day Afghanistan and this led to the spread of a common language and the expansion of the trade routes through Asia and Europe (Austin 98). The opening of the trade routes helped in the spread and exchange of different cultures and religions between the people from the West and the East. The interconnection of culture and trade enhanced regional integration and the military conquests created several opportunities for the people to assimilate into the society, and it has helped in spreading the Hellenistic culture.
Moreover, Alexander the Great’s military conquests led to the creation of money based economies. The conquest had a noteworthy effect on the economy because the economies were developed due to trade across the empire and the other cities. So many cities flourished with everyone speaking a common language and this promoted trade, which helped boost the economies. According to Pollard and Howard, Alexander mapped out the trade routes, which allowed caravans to transverse through even in uncharted areas thus making trade easier and this was beneficial to the economy (114). There was a stable environment for trade and this meant more money because the cities now became the centers for commerce and culture. Alexander the Great’s conquest really helped to build the economy by promoting trade. Even after his death, there was the formation of the Eurasian trading network that benefited all cities thus boosting the economy.
One of the greatest political changes that were brought by Alexander the Great’s conquest is that this invasion directly led to the fall of Achaemenid Persia. Alexander managed to defeat Darius the King of Persia who was a constant threat to the people of Macedonia and Greece as a whole. He managed to conquer many cities and make several changes in Macedonia after defeating the King of Persia (Bosworth 78). Nonetheless, after his death, Alexander’s empire split into many Kingdoms found by Alexander’s top-ranking members who fought to lead the Alexander Empire. As a result, this led to the fall of Achaemenid Persia. Ptolemy I Soter led to the emergence of the Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt and Palestine. In addition, Seleucus I Nicator, who was also a top-ranking general in the Alexander Empire, found the Seleucid Empire in Mesopotamia. In fact, this was the largest of the kingdoms that emerged after the death of Alexander the Great.
Apart from the positives, Alexander the Great’s conquest also had a negative impact on the political landscape of the Afro-Eurasian world. First, the Mediterranean unification led to the increase of slave trade (Bosworth 33). It is true that the slave trade led to increased wealth from the slave owners but the slaves suffered a lot working on the plantations. Moreover, since slaves were brought to work on the farms, many free peasants ended up jobless thus making life difficult for them. As a result, many of them were forced to migrate to the cities, which also led to overcrowding in the cities. Therefore, the Alexander conquest altered the political landscape of the Afro-Eurasian world both in positive and negative ways.
With no doubt, Alexander the Great is one of the greatest military leaders in the world history. He was an intelligent, generous, cunning, and powerful ruler even though he is said to have committed immoral acts during his reign. Alexander demonstrated a dynamic leadership in addition to conquering enormous areas during his reign. He ruled the largest empire in the world during his time and he managed to spread the western philosophy and culture across the world. Alexander the Great's conquests altered the Afro-Eurasian world in several ways both politically, economically, and culturally (Eng 35). Alexander was a great military leader who used strategy to conquer the cities as well as to integrate families into Macedonian families hence building a more diverse and multi-cultural empire.
In conclusion, Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia is recorded as one of the most successful generals in the world history. Alexander achieved a lot of success during his short-term rule by defeating the Greeks, the Persians and conquering Egypt as well as securing the Mediterranean Sea. His conquests had a great impact on the political landscape of the Afro-Eurasian world. During the Alexander the Great conquest, his soldiers not only defeated the opponents in the battle, they were able to connect with different societies in the East and the other people Alexander encountered in his path from Macedonia to India. In fact, the victory ushered in several political and cultural changes that transformed Greek. Although his rule was short-lived, Alexander the Great had a profound influence on the Western and Eastern political, economic, and cultural statuses. His legacy was to spread the Greek culture to the world and while doing it, Alexander managed to transform the Afro-Eurasian world. Alexander the Great’s conquests have a had a very strong influence not only in Macedonia but also in all subsequent generations. In essence, Alexander the Great’s conquests had a profound impact on the politics, economy, and culture of the Afro-Eurasian world.
Bosworth, Albert Brian. Conquest and Empire: the reign of Alexander the Great. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Anson, Edward M. Alexander the Great: themes and issues. London: A"C Black, 2013.
Austin, Michel M. The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the Roman conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Pollard, Justin and Howard Reid. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria Birthplace of the Modern World.
London: Penguin Books Ltd., 2007.
Eng, Robert. "From ‘The West and the Rest’to Global Interconnectedness: China Historians and the Transformation of World History as a Discipline." ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts 22.2 (2015):35-48.