Adv. US History
April 11th, 2019
To what extent has American hegemony been good for the world in the post-World War era?
In the history of the world, there has never been a country as powerful as the United States. While never officially establishing a true empire like its British counterparts, since the dawn of the 20th century, the United States has entrenched itself deeper and deeper into foreign affairs, and after World War II it cemented its place as the global superpower with significant economic and political influence in every continent. However, many observers believe that the United States’ role may be undergoing a historic change. The rapidly growing economies of China, India and Indonesia present formidable challenges to American dominance in Asia. Many argue that the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership represent an increasingly isolationist foreign policy and an overall retreat from the role that the United States has fulfilled for over 70 years. As a result of these events, many have begun to consider whether not an American-led world order has been favorable. Some critics will argue that the American government has used its commanding influence throughout the world to selfishly further its own interests; however, the post World-War hegemony of the United States has largely been good for the world as it has maintained economic and political stability while creating a liberal international order that ushered in an unprecedented era of prosperity.
Throughout its history, the US has consistently intervened in the affairs of foreign nations, often through dishonorable means, to greedily further its own power and interests. The Truman Doctrine, perhaps the most important ideology in the history of all of foreign policy, was a significant factor in such involvement. In 1947, Truman’s declaration that “it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation” in the name of helping them “work out their own destinies” justified its subsequent economic and military intervention in many nations across the globe, precipitating a lengthy period of geopolitical tension between the two most powerful nations in the world. This set an alarming precedent that allowed the United States to do whatever it wanted in order to preserve its newfound power. No other foreign policy initiative encapsulates this concept more than the United States’ involvement in regime changes in several nations during the 20th century, especially through the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency. The widespread fear of Communism both in American society and government led to the passing of the Central Intelligence Agency Act in 1949, which allowed the agency “to disregard laws that required disclosure of information regarding the organization, to expend funds without regard to laws and regulations...and...