How America became a superpower

How America became a superpower


The modern United States is the most powerful country in human history. With over 800 military bases and 37% of global military spending, the United States has become the leader of a vast interconnected global system that has helped usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity and low levels
of conflict. To understand America’s position in the
world, and why it’s so pivotal for world politics as we know it, you have to go back
to the country’s founding — back to when America wasn’t a global power in any sense
of the word. During the first 70 years of its existence,
the United States expanded in both territory and influence in North America eventually
reaching the Pacific Ocean in a wave of expansionism that resulted in the wholesale slaughter of
the indigenous people who populated the continent. But early Americans were deeply divided as
to whether the country should expand beyond the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This became a major debate after the civil
war, when some leaders, like post-war Secretary of State Seward, argued that America
should push to become a global power. Seward succeeded in pushing a plan to purchase
Alaska from Russia, but his attempts to buy Greenland and Iceland, as well as annex territory
in the Caribbean, were all blocked by Congress. That’s because some Americans, including
many on Capitol Hill, had a strong anti-imperialist bent. These people worried about America getting
more involved in global politics, as well as having to integrate populations from “inferior”
races. And this opposition applied major checks on
the imperialist urge to expand. But something was happening in the late 1800s
that would change the debate about American expansionism. The industrial revolution produced explosive
economic growth, and the bigger US economy required a more centralized state and bureaucracy
to manage the growing economy. Power became concentrated in the federal government,
making it easier for expansionist presidents, like William Mckinley, to unilaterally push
United States influence abroad. The key turning point came in 1898, when President
McKinley dragged the country into war with Spain over the island of Cuba despite intense
opposition. The rising US easily defeated the moribund
Spanish empire, acquiring Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines in the process (1898). Over the next two years, the US would annex
the Kingdom of Hawaii (1898), Wake Island (1899), and American Samoa (1900). A few years later the US took control of the
Panama Canal Zone (1903) and sent troops to occupy the Dominican Republic (1916), it also
purchased the American Virgin Islands (1917). This period of rapid acquisition of far flung
territories put the US on the map as a truly global power. During this time, America also began using
its influence to protect its growing commercial and military interests abroad, installing
pro-American regimes in places like Nicaragua and playing a major role in international
diplomacy regarding the Western presence in China. World War I showed how just how much America’s
influence had grown. Not only was American intervention a decisive factor in the war’s end But President Wilson attended the Paris Peace
Conference which ended the war and attempted to set the terms of the peace. He spearheaded America’s most ambitious
foreign policy initiative yet, an international organization, called the League of Nations,
designed to promote peace and cooperation globally. The League, a wholesale effort to remake global
politics, showed just how ambitious American foreign policy had become. Yet isolationism was still a major force in
the United States. Yet isolationism was still a major force in
the United States. Congress blocked the United States from joining
the League of Nations, dooming Wilson’s project. During the Great Depression and the rise of
Hitler, the US was was much more focused on its own region than on European affairs
Ultimately, though, America’s ever-growing entanglements abroad made it impossible for
it to stay out of global affairs entirely. In East Asia, the growing Japanese empire
posed a the direct threat to American possessions and troops bringing the United States and Japan into conflict. This culminated in the Pearl Harbor attack bringing the United States into World War II. World War Two would transform America’s
global presence forever. The United States was the only major power
to avoid economic ruin during the war, and it was the sole country equipped with atomic
weapons. As such, it was in unique position to set
the terms of the peace — and, with the aim of preventing another war in mind, it took
advantage. The most famous example of this is the creation
of the United Nations. The UN charter set up a system of international
law prohibiting wars of conquest, like the ones waged by the Nazis and the Japanese. It also served as a forum in which the international
community could weigh in on disputes, and help resolve them. This way, the Americans hoped, great powers
could resolve their differences through compromise and law rather than war. But while the UN is the most famous of the
post-war institutions, it isn’t the only one. 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations
came together in a small vacation haven in New Hampshire. Their goal? To establish a global financial system that would prevent another Great Depression and World War. The resulting agreement, called the Bretton Woods Agreement ultimately became backbone of the global financial system. Resulting in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. By creating these institutions the United
States committed itself to being deeply involved in the world’s problems. The issue, though, is that the world’s second-largest
power — The Soviet Union — saw things differently. World War II had made allies out of the democratic
West and communist East in the fight against Hitler, but that couldn’t last. The United States saw Soviet expansion in
Eastern Europe and elsewhere as a direct threat to its vision of a free-trading world. “To a substantial degree, in one form or another” Socialism has spread the shadow of human regimentation Over most of the nations of the earth And… the shadow is encroaching on our own liberty. Fearful of Soviet intentions towards Western
Europe, the US and other European nations created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
a military alliance meant to stop Russia from invading other countries in Europe. Globally, the US committed to a strategy called
“containment” — so called because it was aimed at containing the spread of Communism
everywhere on the globe. This new global struggle meant that the US
had to exert influence everywhere, all the time. Instead of disbanding the massive military
machine created for World War II, its wheels mostly kept turning. This had two main results: first, the US was
pulled into unlikely alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and South Korea,
seeing each of them as bulwarks against communist influence in their region. Secondly, the US began intervening, often
secretly, in dozens of countries to contain Soviet influence. Sometimes this meant propping up sympathetic
dictators like in Iran, other times supplying rebels with arms and money like
in Afghanistan in 1979 and Nicaragua in 1985. Over the course of the Cold War, the US intervened
in hundreds of disputes around the globe, ending up with a complicated set of alliances, tensions, and relationships in basically every corner of the earth. After the Berlin wall fell, the US could have
withdrawn from this system, severing ties with its allies and drawing down the size
of its military. And while the US did military
spending, much of the military infrastructure and alliances from the Cold War war remained. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton
decided that it was in both America and the world’s interests for the United States,
now the sole superpower on earth, to continue actively managing global affairs. ” We should be and we must be Peacemakers” NATO, created solely as a tool for countering
the Soviets, stayed together and even expanded, a way of keeping European nations united in
the absence of the Soviet threat. Washington’s support for countries like
Israel and Japan stayed intact, ostensibly as a means of preventing war in those regions. The global system of alliances and institutions
created to keep the peace during the Cold War became permanent — as did the American
military and political commitments needed to keep them running . This system remains in operation today, and no leading
American politician since the Cold War has seriously called for dismantling them — except, perhaps for Donald Trump. Trump has said contradictory things about
these commitments. But he’s consistently argued that American
allies are not paying America enough for its protection, and questioned the value of free trade. That calls NATO and even the World Trade Organization into question. At some point, we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea. We’re better off if South Korea is going to start to protect itself — and Saudi Arabia?– Saudi Arabia? Absolutely. This is a sharp divergence from the consensus
that has dominated US foreign policy since 1945, and something closer to the isolationism
that came before it. So will President Trump act on some of candidate Trump’s ideas, and reverse decades worth of institution building and alliances? We’ll find out, soon enough.

100 thoughts on “How America became a superpower

  1. So basically when America does something , regardless of good or bad , it is not a big deal.
    But when others do the same , they get criticized and sanctioned , etc.

  2. Also Trump is right about letting countries deal with their problems themselves it's like saying that a 30 year old still needs money from his parents.

  3. 2:52
    In school this isn't even mentioned as an American made thing but rather just a complete and utter failure

  4. It's interesting to see how America went from a small revolution searching for independence to a superpower that no 1st world country would dare to go too war with.

  5. Vox, you neglected to mention how the wealth generated from slavery made everything possible. America would not be a superpower without it.

  6. "Low levels of conflict"
    So what about Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, "war on terror", "war on drugs", South Sudan, Central African Republic, Kashmir, Ukraine, Kurdistan, Palestine, and all the wars that don't make it into the news? Or does Europe only count to you?

  7. vox: shows extent of ussr by highlighting all soviet areas. includes yugoslavia.

    that's where you guys are wrong. should have also mentioned the non-aligned movement. please do more research on the topic.

  8. 1-By the Military Power
    2-Infrastructure in Universities
    3-Power of The
    Means of
      Communication
    4-Scientific Advancement in Astronomy
    5-Advance in Computing
    6-For the Advance in Medicine
    Such a transformation was after
    the second war

  9. You have to admit, with all the chaos the modern world has because of different parties including US, the world will be very different in a worse way without the US. It's like choosing the lesser evil.

  10. Trump to Putin- Take me seriously
    Putin – Your attitude is of a pouty child
    The only thing I don't take seriously is you

  11. All victories are claimed by America, they never told about the victory of their allies!.. We won, We won but actually hold and pushed by their ally…

  12. The US made the world free. why? you can not believe:
    the US joined WW2 after 2 years so the US could destroy the British Empire and Germany at the same time. in fact the US was not allied with the UK. in 1946 the US kicked the UK out of south of Iran! at the same time India became independent. in 1957 the US sank the British Empire in Suez Canal war. in 1971 the British Royal Navy was terminated in the Persian Gulf! now many countries are free and developed and now where is the British Empire? Thank you the US

  13. At 1:34 it is stated that due to the growing economy a more centralised government was required. I am not aware of any macroeconomic principle that would indicate this causality. Could someone enlighten me please

  14. After a few years this will be just a history because, China will dominate U. S. little by little because of their influences. Do you see the pattern?? Agriculture, Industrial and High Technology.. They just copy all then and, create a new masterpiece.. Like Hacking and Developing.. Debt is one of the major Key..

  15. One international war on American grounds & this superpower bubble will pop off immediately 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  16. The video strangely does not mention the dictatorship in Latin America financed by the "liberal" and "democratic" USA and ends like it deffended this role of US as a "fighter" for and whose duty is the international peace, which is absolutely not true

  17. the title of this video should continue with "that serves no purpose but led to the nation be forever indebted "

  18. "The modern United states is the most powerful country in human history". British Empire, Alexander the great, Romans, mongols – wait a minute

  19. Killing people, kidnapping people and taking their stuff. I just saved you 8:55 of your life. You're welcome.

  20. Revisionist history.?
    …This video maker, like many of us, has jammed historical facts into a mold of their own design, one crafted to fit a world view…or an agenda which they support. The first casualty in these cases is usually truth. This vid, while interesting, is more of an opinion piece and as such is wholey untrustworthy as a source of historical fact.
    In comedy, they say, "if you buy the premise you will buy the bit" ….When it comes to history, one must be remember that history has no agenda, but writers of history do….. Pay attention to the construct of any premise presented to you…

  21. Revelations chapter 20 soon God will remove Satan from earth. True peace and blessings will fill the earth. Every human being must decide to love and obey God with eternal life or follow Satan into destruction.

  22. Spoiler Alert: Britain helped USA in WW1 and made it the number 1 economic country in the world. NOW SAY THANK YOU TO YOUR FATHER AMERICANS.

  23. Free enterprise and capitalism is the answer. All the other countries have been tyranized by their governments..

  24. AMERICA started to become a powerful nation when they supported God's nation ISRAEL during its RISE in the 1950's —

    now they're starting to distance themselves from ISRAEL and it's also the start of their fall

  25. "Low levels of conflict" Good one 😀
    But I guess if you grow up at U.S. schools you have another definition of high levels of conflict than the rest of the world

  26. What was ignored: The United States has GIVEN more money and aid to 3rd world countries than ALL other countries combined!!! We didn't have to, but did anyway. GTFOH

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