Each and every nation has its own story. The only thing every nation's history has in common is that every nation has a founding, and each nation's founding is different. The founding of America was different from the founding of China, and the founding of China was different from the founding of Poland; however all these nations foundings, and the foundings of all nations, have something in common: Every founder has given his or her nation founding values. America was founded on American values, 'Communist' China was founded on Chinese Communist values, Poland was founded on Polish values, and every nation, both dead and alive, was founded on its own values.
No matter why, or how the nation was founded, whether the nation was founded for political, religious, and/or racial reasons, its founders gave their nation certain values, either knowingly or unknowingly. Mao gave Maoist China Maoist values and ideas, Lenin gave the Soviet Union Socialist values and ideas, George Washington gave America Libertarian values and ideas. Although these values almost always change during the nation's people's lifetime, these founding values almost always shape future values. Mao's values shaped China's values, Lenin values shaped Soviet values even after Stalin, and George Washington's values shaped American values.
Each nation's founders still have some control of their nation, even after their deaths. Mao still influences China, just like how George Washington still influences America. Mao made China a 'Communist' Dictatorship, and George Washington made America a Capitalist Democracy. Because of George Washington's desicion to step down from the presidency after two terms it become until tradition for American not to run for a third term, and it only became a law that the president can't run for a third term after FDR. So even though George Washington wasn't a Dictator, he still influences American politics. The founders of a nation make that nation into what they want it to be, even in Libertarian countries, the founders create national values.
Constitutions are the greatest example of this, because the founders directly determine the type of government, and the economic system. America's constitution made Individualism an American value, just like how the Soviet constitution made Collectivism a Soviet value.
The most certain part of a nation's history is its beginning; however what's also guaranteed is a nation's end. Prussia is dead, the Soviet Union is dead, South Vietnam is dead, Rome is dead, and thousands of feudal states are dead. All stories have a beginning and an end, and every nation tells a story.
There are usually four ways a nation dies: The most obvious way a nation dies is when it physically dies, either because of invaders who occupy its land, or because a civil war, creating many nations out of one. However a nation can also spiritually die, by abandoning its founding values. Would America still be America if it became a Socialist Dictatorship, which now values the collective instead of the individual? Would 'Communist' China still be 'Communist' China if it abandoned Communist values, and embraced Capitalism and Democracy? Mussolini tried to bring Rome back by invading its former territories; however, that wouldn't bring Rome back, only re-embracing Roman values would make Italy Rome again. And a nation can die by mutating into something else, by abandoning its old name, and adding new values and ideas.
Our job is to prevent our nations for as long as possible, so future generations can live in our founders world. Americans must preserve America, British people must preserve Britain, Italians must preserve Italy, and anybody who supports their nation must preserve their nation. It's also the government's job to make the people support their regime, not by just demanding that they support it, but by making their regime into something the people can support. It's also the job of the people to turn the regime into something they like, that reflects their values.
The beginning of a nation defines its people, and the end of a nation defines what we think of them. We view Sparta as a noble city, with strong men, and brave warriors; however we view Nazi Germany as an evil empire, built on war and genocide. Although Sparta is extremely similar to Nazi Germany, we view the Spartans as heroic, and we view the Nazis as villainous. This is because the media portrays them in this way. The goal of every dying nation is to do things that'll make the media portray them as kindly as possible. If Sparta was more centralized, and had modern technology, then we would probably not view them as noble warriors, but as brutal savages like the Nazis. Both Sparta and Nazi Germany were centered around war, and used eugenics to get the best warriors. So would it be so wrong to call Sparta the Nazi Germany of Ancient Greece? The relationship between Sparta and Nazi Germany had taught us one thing: If the media portrays you positively, the people will think of you positively.