Decline Of The American Empire Essay

4873 words - 20 pages

Predicts the end of American hegemony (Note the British spelling). -Decline of the American EmpireIn any era there are different protagonists, playing the same game on a similar board. Like a game of monopoly, there are nations competing to become the foremost leaders of their time. They amass great wealth, powerful armies, and political sway. When the influence and might of these countries transcends the confines of their boundaries, so that they become a presence throughout the world, they become empires. At times, it seems as though one of these empires wins the game, becoming the undisputed superpower in the world. Today, there is one such nation that has outlived all of its rivals in ...view middle of the document...

It suffers from the ailments that inflict empires when they age: a loss of direction, fiscal excess, cultural degradation and a bloated military.When a dominant empire declines, another empire emerges to replace it. It is a cycle that has held true throughout history. Rome replaced Carthage, Ottoman Turkey replaced Byzantium, Britain replaced France, America replaced Britain. Like past empires, America can neither sustain its power indefinitely, nor can it exist statically under the weight of its current difficulties. While America is racked by unprecedented domestic disunity and a sense of economic decline a resurgent Europe and an aggressively modernising China stand to eclipse the American Empire. The close of the American Century may well be the beginning of the final twilight of the American Empire.The United States of America rose to its position of prominence in the 20th century by filling the vacuum left by the waning powers of Europe. The old empires of Europe had grown too vast; the British Empire alone covered one fifth of the globe. Their economies lost the vigour of youthful growth, while the cost of maintaining their armies grew immense. The great powers of Europe finally self-destructed within the span of two world wars. Following the Second World War, the colonial empires disintegrated with the rise of independence movements. Consequently, Europe lost its easy access to foreign markets and sources of raw materials, leaving it further weakened, creating the opportunity for the emergence of a new economic and military power.Due to geographic chance, and thanks to the opportunity created by the implosion of Europe, only the United States emerged stronger after the war. It had not endured fighting on its soil and its industries and infrastructure were undamaged. America, rejuvenated and inspired by its heroic feats, took up the duty of nursing Europe back to health. While Europe was convalescing, the United States was substituting for Europe throughout the post-war world. Thus, the Eurocentric world gave way to the American hegemony.The United States inherited the bi-polar world that emerged after the Second World War. Countries aligned themselves either to United States or to the Soviet Union in a tense Cold War. America actually benefited from the Cold War, as it was the undisputed leader of the alliance of Western countries. The Cold War era was an extension of the war period, with the new enemies being the Soviet Union and its communist satellites. With the looming threat of communism, the United States undertook the creation of a massive military, and assumed the role of protector of the Western alliance. This siege mentality, unified the American public in a single cause, namely the defeat of communism and the triumph of American democracy.Still, this unity could not survive the end of the Cold War. America's future is now fuelled by ideological differences. Conservatives, firmly in control of the Congress, are emphasising...

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