Why is America the world’s most powerful nation? « Khabarhub
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Why is America the world’s most powerful nation?



The whole world can analyze the circumstances as how the United States of America (USA) became the super powerful nation through the eyes of basically three historical periods, namely: (i) the period of European influence between 1607 to 1815 AD, (ii) the period of establishing national identity covering the time between 1815 to 1890 AD, and (iii) the period of world involvement and leadership covering the time between 1890 to present.

Many ups and downs, ins and outs have happened during those time periods for American to traverse from the colonial state to the most powerful economy in the world within a period of about 1018 years after the exploration of North America by Leif Ericson in 1001 AD and about 527 years after the discovery of the Americas (the new world) by Christopher Columbus in 1492. American did not become powerful overnight but underwent trial-and-error modus operandi experiences of establishing a government in order to solve their problems.

When America defeated Britain in the war of 1812, purchased Louisiana from France, took over Spanish Florida in 1813, and thereby removed European powers from American territory.

During the 1st period, America’s first president George Washington prudently and firmly announced that it was the policy of America to be neutral to European controversies and wars that took place in Europe between 1790 and 1815 AD. It kept Britain and the whole world out of sight to come, attack and drag America into European wars and fights.

It was the prudent decisions of the forefathers of present-day Americans to keep America away from wars and gave an opportunity in history to develop into a modern state within a short span of time. When America defeated Britain in the war of 1812, purchased Louisiana from France, took over Spanish Florida in 1813, and thereby removed European powers from American territory.

When the third American president Thomas Jefferson bought a massive Louisiana land from France called the “Louisiana Purchase”, it doubled the size of America in 1803.

The USA was able to keep an intact nation, but politically divided between North and South even after the American civil war.

During the second period, America was able to establish a national identity by three types of developments. The first development was the settlement of the whole of the rest of blank America. In the beginning, America was a blank canvas, the migrants who decided to move to the wild west were very bright, ambitious, and diligent. Even though they looked for opportunities, they were equally prepared to take extra risks. One family had to pay only U$ 10 for 160 acres of land for cultivating the Wild West.

The second development was the political fight between the North and South regions of America for socio-economic and political systems. But finally, the 23 union states of the North won the “Civil War” against the 13 confederacies of the South fought between 1861 and 1865. Five days after the surrender of the South, the slaves were freed, but Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The USA was able to keep an intact nation, but politically divided between North and South even after the American civil war.

The third development was the rapid industrialization, especially in the North along with the South in which the agrarian economy was transformed into the modern industrial economy. It is called the industrial revolution in American history.

Besides the above-mentioned circumstances, there were so many other factors and reasons why America could become so powerful economically and militarily.

During the third phase or period, America remained quite busy in global engagement and leadership in many areas of human concerns. It was busy looking for new markets for their surplus goods and as well as raw materials to be brought for their new industries. In such a situation, it purchased Alaska from Russia in the year of 1867. Hawaii joined the United States in 1898 as a U.S. territory and officially became a state in 1959.

The American leadership maintained neutrality in the WWI and ingeniously did not engage for a long time in WWII. This was because it could develop faster economically along with the technological innovations after WWII due to which America wasn’t bombed into oblivion like Europe and Asia.

Besides the above-mentioned circumstances, there were so many other factors and reasons why America could become so powerful economically and militarily.

The most fascinating things that happened in America were the mixture of some of the best characteristics of all cultures in the world leading to building a vibrant culture, and economy willing to do some new things. This led to the great fortunes, and splendid inventions were possible to come into existence in America. A handful of politicos or smart people designed their educational, legal and political system.

More than that, Americans constantly used to follow the Judeo-Christian ethics of sensing of right and wrong that kept corruption to a minimum while protestant work ethics led Americans to be more productive. This asserted the military powers after the civil war. America’s culture with emphasis on innovation, its capitalism, science, technology, freedom and individual rights; geography with abundant natural resources and its location free from powerful foes; a merit-based society that helped allow the cream to rise to the top in the society; development of railroads within a short period; increased mechanization of industry; establishment of needy engineering colleges to produce middle managers; inventions in the field of applied technology; and thereafter the formation of American Federation of Labor (AFL) solving the problems of labor unions really made America to become the super nation or most powerful country in the world.

To summarize it, we can epitomize that building an American national community of people who can predict the future of America with their technological superiority and American attitude of making their nation are the key factors behind building the supra nation in the 21st century. America got an opportunity to collect or accumulate more capital more quickly than any other country in history.

The biggest economy in America grew after the end of the civil war in 1865 and 1900. Now, the American economy is still the largest in terms of GDP (nominal) with $20.891 trillion as the first in the world with its per capita income of $ 62,518 as the 7th top nation. But American stands in the second position in terms of GDP (PPP) with $ 20.891 trillion in the world against China’s $27.331 trillion as the first nation as of 2019.

Keeping a nation intact in the face of civil war, gearing up the pace of industrialization and thereby the economic growth and finally become a land of opportunities was not earned so easily but with devotion and dedication in history. This is a lesson Nepal should draw from America in terms of economic growth and scientific innovations.

Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the stance of Khabarhub.

Publish Date : 19 May 2019 10:39 AM

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