Sozin may have had good intentions with "spreading the wealth of the Fire Nation", but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and littered with the bones of the resulting casualties. Invasion is invasion, and Sozin intended to forcibly subjugate sovreign nations for the sake of his own twisted savior complex. Definitely not what I would consider to be on the "right" side.
It's an interesting question. To pharaphrase Winston Churchill, history is written by the winners, because the losers are usually poor and illiterate. Look at the United States, a country whose history is full of genocide, wars of aggression, and interference with weaker sovereign nations. Today, the US associates itself with freedom and democracy and all that good stuff. Had the Fire Nation won the 100 Years War, they would almost certainly have rewritten history along the lines of what we saw in "The Headband," and quite possibly even eventually evolved into some kind of stablerepresentative democracy (assuming that Ozai and Azula would have eventually been thrown out of power). Given the Fire Nation's level of industrialization, living standards and life expectancy were most likely the highest in the world. Then too, consider their primary opponents-the isolated, patriarchal, and technologically backwards Water Tribes and the corrupt and classist Earth Kingdom. Only the Air Nomads could really claim the moral high ground here; in absolute terms, the quality of life might well have been higher in the Fire Nation colonies than the Earth Kingdom. Of course we all agree that genicide is unequivocally wrong and Ozai's plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom was obviously insane, but looking at the Fire Nation as a whole as well as the original justification for the 100 Years War, you might be able to make the case that the Fire Nation simply had the bad luck to go up against the Avatar.
Maybe they should have taken a page from Russia on the matter? If you do it during a time where the Avatar is too young to do anything, you could annex entire areas for passable reasons. All about the timing though.
You're kidding, right? The Fire Nation wasn't interested in equality, they were interested in power. They wiped out an entire nation and then subjugated the people in the areas they conquered. Also, just because something is smaller doesn't mean it's not equal in power.
True, but what the Fire Nation was interested in doesn't necessarily translate to the effects of their actions. Genghis Khan and the Mongols, for instance, raped and slaughtered their way across Asia, but ultimately created a Pax Mongolica that lasted over a hundred years. The only thing the Mongols were interested in was conquest and riches, but that doesn't change the fact that their actions unified Eurasia and ushered in an era of widespread wealth and prosperity. Similarly, the Roman Empire performed numerous atrocities in their conquest western Europe but also created unprecedented living standards in the areas they conquered. Ozai's plan to set fire to the Earth Kingdom notwithstanding, life in the Colonies really doesn't seem like it was all that bad. I'm not trying to say that genocide is ok, just that history is rarely objective when it comes to right and wrong.
4500X has a point. It also reminds me of an Avatar quote. "Our actions have consequences, but sometimes not for many lifetimes." How many years did it take for people to even recognize that the US has participated in genocide? There wasn't some Messianic figure, disillusioned prince, or ragtag band of heroes that stopped us. Those social inequities still exist today. Similarly, we don't know how the Fire Nation might have changed 50 or so years down the road. Yes, they'd been at war for 100 years, but how long did it take us to address slavery? Women's rights?
Now, the caveat here is that Azula was next in line & they were about to burn down a huge swath of the country to basically ensure complete domination of most of the world, so there wasn't really much time for the Fire Nation to get its act together.
As far as the land goes, I think you can definitely make the argument that the Earth Kingdom has way more territory than it needs, & on the other extreme, the Water Tribes have practically nothing. But war is probably not the smart solution to that problem.
well it is a point to think about but when it comes down to it all benders can live anywere in a happy community like aang found out in the swamp it really shouldnt be thought of as differant places any way
Just a point to add about the size of the Earth Kingdom: its listed on this very wiki that the Earth Kingdom is a "confederate monarchy," which is fancy talk for a whole bunch of nations that pay lip service to The Earth King in Ba Sing Se. So while the "Earth Kingdom" looks very impressive on a map, I would imagine that it is politically more akin to Fuedal Europe; everybody does their own thing but remain within the confines of the hierarchy. So while the Fire Nation might look smaller, its probably both more united and more industiralized, making for a more formidable foe than the larger continent.
Also, Great Britain was also a small archipelago, yet it managed to create the largest empire in history. Moral of the story; size apparently doesn't matter.
Yes, Great Britain became a superpower by conquering other nations. That's basically what the OP is pointing out. When you start out with a small territory & your society keeps growing, what else are you going to do?
It has happened quite a number of different times in history. Each time, the respective empire grows until it reaches that peak and then always crumbles into a shell of the former glory. Another kingdom just replaces it. Romans, Persians, Byzantium, Greeks, Franks, Tzarist Russia, Britain, Normans, Mongols, Ottomans, and on.
With 10,000 of history between Wan and Korra, there could have easily been great cycles of the various elemental kingdoms rising and falling. The URN and separate water tribes also add a new spin on the question.
When you think about it, the people of the 4 nations migrated to territories that aided their bending the most. Most of the land is made of Earth which is why the Earth Kingdom has the largest nation. Fire nation lives close to volcanoes and such. The air nomads lived in the sky and on mountains where the winds were most powerful. Water nation lived on land made of water.
Their seperation is based on the geography of the world. Sozin could have just as easily slowly branched out from the fire nation into parts of the Earth kingdom through negotiations of buying territory or trading goods/services. He was an imperealist who wanted power. So yeah, Fire nation were definitely not on the right side. Neither were the United States. Can't justify genocide.
first off. I think the discussion is based on an improper premise. I believe it was previously officially stated that the map we see of the avatar world is curved and therefore not an accurate representation of size. i.e. the fire nation is actually bigger than the map indicates and the earth kingdom is actually smaller. that being said I just realized im responding to a forum that has been inactive for almost 2 years. ill leave it up for hilarity. :)
Rean411 wrote: first off. I think the discussion is based on an improper premise. I believe it was previously officially stated that the map we see of the avatar world is curved and therefore not an accurate representation of size.
my apologies for being touchy. I meant the map we see is curved in such a way that it distorts how we see the nations. if I can find information converting my "Headcanon" to real cannon I will post it. until then good day to you.
whether this makes it cannon or not I don't know but check the trivia section.
Oh, that's much better. I don't think I see anything that says the Earth Kingdom's territory is more different than it appears, though. Just that the Fire Nation is larger and the Water Tribes are smaller than the map shows.
He is likely referring to the Earth shown from space, in which indeed the sizes on maps were shown to be somewhat distorted. The Fire Nation isles are indeed much larger (relatively) IRAL (in real Avatar life) than shown on the map.