United States as a World Superpower
Ashley Torgerson Dr. Brown International Relations 2nd May, 2012 United States as a World Superpower The rising to the status of world super power does not happen overnight. To explore the journey to the top, we must recognize the struggles and obstacles that were overcome. As Americans we can proudly say that we live in a country with globally recognized supremacy. As stated earlier, it was not an easy title to obtain. Looking back throughout history we can see specific examples of how we began our rise to power and what it has taken to preserve our power.
Some of our more recent history has shown that many people are questioning how much longer we will be able to retain this power. I however feel strongly that America has the ability to remain a world superpower. America was not always seen as one of the world’s superpowers. Our rise to power was focused on a few distinct driving forces. These include the rise of capitalism, military dominance, and an economic boom all which occurred from Post war era such as World War II and the Cold War (Baker p. 10). All of these factors contributed to the gaining of America’s power.
It is also important to look at the factors that gave America the ability to keep this power. Those influences were surrounded around America’s capability to become a dominate power in the international system, and maintaining a stable economy (Mandelbaum p. 213). History has shown many examples of countries rising and falling from power. Due to this many Americans feel they we are on a similar path. Contributing to this downward path is the increasing power of Asian and Middle Eastern (Bar p. 41). Of these countries China is recognized as one with the most potential.
China has gained an increasing role in the world system through material capabilities, hard powers, and through human or social capabilities or soft powers. (Gilley p. 245) China’s biggest draw is its material capabilities because it has led the nation to become one the worlds fast growing industries. “During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. ” (Unz p. 12) While this shows the vast power of China’s economic domain, its soft powers cannot be over looked.
The Chinese work force not only supports its internal demand for products but it also supports that of the hundreds of various countries the products are shipped too (Unz p. 11) Without a large skilled work force this may not be possible. From these reasons we can conclude that China is taking strides in the right direction of super power and in years to come may even surpass the United States. Although the crisis of power struggle is occurring, America refuses to go down without a fight. “The United States still has the world’s strongest military. (Walt p. 6). Having a strong military not only establishes the United States supreme power but it helps enforce to other countries that they have the ability to keep that power. With power comes a responsibilty. The United States military forces are often called upon to intervene in worldwide problems, demonstrating its dominance in international affairs. Aside from military intervention the United States plays a key role in international affairs through economic investment (Ferguson p. 23). Investment in a widespread of areas keeps the economy diverse.
We see the effects of a diverse economy daily through products being marketable all around the world (Brzezinski p. 291). The United States has the available resources to provide for the world market. All of these factors go into making life easier in the United States, thus producing a society that is living longer and spending more money (Brzezinski p. 292-294). Ultimately these reasons secure the United States position as dominant world power. Based off of these various reasons I feel strongly that the United States has the capability to remain as a world superpower, not being surpassed by China.
It is true that many factors go into determining a world power but these three stand out to me: economic stable, military power, and at the top of social and cultural end of the spectrum. While China may have the economic means to compete, they do not have the dominant military force the United States has. “United States is the only country with the means to invade multiple medium-size countries in other continents and still sustain very few casualties. No other country currently is even near having the ability to project military power with such force and range” (Internet Source).
The combination of economic stability and military power has led to the United States large impact in the international system. Hegemonic responsibilities are always put on the world’s dominant power. The United States has dealt with these responsibilities for many decades and has proven its ability to lead the world in a harmonious way. Anna Applebaum from the dWashington Post writes: “The United States is a superpower without a partner,” meaning that the United States has handled the world as a dominant power for this long and is not losing grasp of that. Bibliography
Academic Journals 1. Bar, Shmuel. “America’s fading Middle East influence. ” Policy Review 166 (2011): 41+. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Mar. 2012. 2. Baker, Andrew. Constructing a post-war order: the rise of US hegemony and the origins of the Cold War. ” CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Feb. 2012: 1129. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Mar. 2012 3. Ferguson, Yale H. “Approaches to Defining ‘Empire’ and Characterizing United States Influence in the Contemporary World. ” International Studies Perspectives 9. 3 (2008): 272+. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Mar. 012. 4. Gilley, Bruce. “Middle powers during great power transitions: China’s rise and the future of Canada-US relations. ” International Journal 66. 2 (2011): 245+. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 May 2012 5. Unz, Ron. “China’s rise, America’s fall: which superpower is more threatened by its ‘extractive elites’? ” The American Conservative 11. 5 (2012): 12+. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 May 2012. 6. Walt, Stephen M. “The end of the American era. ” The National Interest 116 (2011): 6+. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 May 2012. Books 7. Brzezinski, Zbigniew, and Brent Scowcroft.
American and the World: conversations on the future of American foreign policy. New York: Basic Books, c2008, 291 p. 8. Mandelbaum, Michael. The frugal superpower: America’s global leadership in a cash-strapped era. 1st ed. New York: Public Affairs, c 2010, 213 p. Newspaper 9. ANNE APPLEBAUM. “Superpower without a Partner. ,” The Washington Post, November 24, 2009 Tuesday, Editorial Copy, Pg. A19 782 words Internet 10. Futurist, The. “Why The US Will Still be the Only Superpower in 2030. ” typepad. N. p. , n. d. Web. 4 May 2012. http://futurist. typepad. com/my_weblog/2006/05/why_the_us_will. html