America is the lone superpower in the world today. Its commercial and military might covers the whole world. But it is an empire in decline. It is slowly but steadily losing its grip on its sole hold on global dominance and there are other countries waiting on the sidelines ready to claim the leadership.
Manifest Destiny and America’s Rise to Power
After the United States gained independence from the British Empire, it was engaged in nation building. It started to acquire new territories and until the nation soon stretched from coast to coast. It faced its greatest crisis in the American Civil War broke out which threatened its existence, but after that it was soon engaged back in building a strong and vibrant country that was dynamic and full of energy. It was fueled by the arrival of immigrants from the Old World.
The whole 19th Century was marked by a rapid expansion which was dubbed as Manifest Destiny. The term points out to the fact that United States was destined to become a powerful nation. It first acquired land from France with the Louisiana Purchase. It was able to wrestle the former Mexican states. After the Civil War, it bought Alaska from the Russian Empire which was largely seen then as a barren chunk of ice.
The Spanish American War and World Power
The real entry of the United States into the world power category was the Spanish American War. After that conflict, it was able to get territories from Spain and so got its first taste of being a world power. Soon it was able to help England and France during the First World War where its entry was the deciding factor for victory.
In World War Two
The Second World War was the stage where America really made its debut as the dominating country in the world. Its industrial might was the single biggest factor that crushed the military power of both Germany and Japan. After the conflict it emerged together with the Soviet Union as a superpower and then the Cold War began.
The Start of the Decline
We all know that the Cold War ended without turning into an actual shooting war, though there were moments when everyone thought that it would. The Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight and the U.S. remained as the single most powerful nations in the world. But its hold on global dominance was only solid for a few years and then it started to show some cracks.
The Rise and Fall of America
The financial crisis and domestic problems are starting to cause some strain in the way that the country can deal with challenges. Then there were the wars after 9/11 which is a huge drain on the nation. World powers come and go and people seem to agree that we are seeing the fall of the United States as the most powerful nation. China is ready on the sidelines to take up the banner should America lose its grip on the standard of world dominance.