arc of nations


Senior Member
Hi there,

"The arc of nations and their empires is an imprecise thing. President Trump will be reminded of this on his five-nation trip to Asia this coming week."

This is the opening sentence from In Asia, Trump confronts the decline of the American empire - CNN

For the nations Trump is going to visit, their powers and influences are not very clear and in flux. But I really don't understand the connotation. Could anyone explain the underlined part a little for me? (what does "arc of nations" stand for? )


  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The phrase "arc of nations" assumes a view of history in which each nation traces an arc-shaped path from birth and development to power and dominance and eventually to decline.

    A similar view of historical developments tracing a path is embodied in the saying "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." (Theodore Parker via Martin Luther King, Jr.)
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