Throughout world history there were different powerful empires (e.g. Roman, Mongol, Ottoman and British Empires), which made a great contribution in the world`s development and were considered to be the centers of economic, political, military, etc. spheres. They had influenced upon other countries all over the world having the status of the core country. Consequently, all other countries were considered to be the periphery and were very much dependent from the core country. For a long period of time in the past, the British Empire was the center while all other countries were the periphery (Johnson, 2004). After World War II the situation has changed and the dominance of the Western Europe was diminished because of the war and economic and political failures.
Many scholars consider that the United States occupies a special position in various spheres of life, such as economic, political, cultural, military, etc. in terms of its origin as a country of immigrants, which is built by the people from all over the world. That is why many people may consider that the USA is built by everyone with their own religion, background, culture, etc. that gives the United States a special power comparing with any other country in the world.
The United States of America was more powerful than all western European countries which became weak after WWII. That gave the opportunity to the United States to win recognition to be the most powerful country in the world. From the historical review, there is evidence that the British Empire kept a quarter of the whole world under its control. Due to its colonial policy a lot of countries were ruled by the British Queen and the law. The British Empire made a great contribution in the development of nations including their economic, political and cultural spheres. Most scholars consider the influence of the British Empire as a positive and progressive impact in world history, though there are some who blame Great Britain to be a colonial empire that destroyed national identity and culture (Pescheck, 2005).
Research asserts that no other empire in world history could be compared to the U.S. global empire, which is unique and uncompetitive. Earlier, all known empires ruled other countries controlling their territories and using military forces, but it is not the way the U.S. Empire is ruling the world now. Actually there are no places in the world that can exist without American influence; this is not only because of the U.S. hegemony, but just because of the greatest authority of the United States among all other nations. It is evident that the United States of America is the leading country in the world in various spheres of life, including economy, politics, military, science, etc.
Due to the previous influence of the British Empire and the current influence of the U.S. Empire, English language has become the most wide-spread language in the world; approximately one hundred countries speak English as their native and official language. Due to the hegemony of the U.S. Empire, English language has become not just a foreign language to the world`s population, but it is a means of international communication. English is a global means of communication, because of many reasons: this is the main language of the United Nations Organization, world conferences, air traffic control, science and the internet. Though, the research proves that there are two variants of English language: American and British.
The Extent of the U.S. Empire
Due to the research (Pescheck, 2005), after the collapse of the USSR, the United States of America was named as the only world`s empire or ‘lone superpower’. After September/11 terrorists` attack the United States has derived the title as ‘new Rome’ by many politicians and historians. The collapse of the Soviet Union and September/11 terrorists` attack changed world history. Chalmers Johnson (2005) asserts that the USA and its people are transforming into a new more powerful empire with the growing influence of militarism. The burden of empire has been overviewed in today`s U.S. foreign policy. Due to the “Base Structure Report”, 2012 (firstname.lastname@example.org.), American defense installations are located on more than 30 million acres including large, medium and small with the total number of 6,000 million locations. Most of them are located in the USA territory, 96 of them are installed in U.S. territories all over the world and about 1,000 – in foreign countries. Seventy percent of the world`s countries have American military troops in their territories. According to the U.S. Department of State`s report, 192 countries have diplomatic relations with the United States. Great Britain, in comparison, has its military control in Gibraltar, the Atlantic Ocean island of St. Helena and the Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia.
In Sorrows of Empire (Johnson, 2004) has shown directions and realities of the American influence upon other countries and nations as a global empire in the world. The U.S. militarist power, bases all over the globe, the use of military threat is evidence of the American hegemony. This is a direct proof of being the U.S. a global empire. Due to Johnson (2004), the United States more often uses military power instead of negotiations or cultural or scientific interaction. American intelligence agencies are keeping under their control most of the global territory. This can be viewed both as negative and positive. From the negative point of view, there is hardly one country in the world which may be glad when somebody interferes into their national affairs. On the other hand, the USA serves as a guard to people`s and countries` security in terms of their international defense, economic development and protection of their human rights (Bowden, 2009). Being one of the most powerful and democratic country in the world the USA helps other countries gain their independence from different regimes, military conflicts and terrorism. Contrary, the British Empire showed its power through the number of its colonies and enormous amount of wealth which they had brought. In the course of history the British Empire has explored all its colonies to enrich its power and wealth.
The U.S. Empire vs. the British Empire
To estimate the impact of the U.S. Empire in history development of different countries as well as the USA itself, it is worth to compare it with the British Empire which ruled the world for many years. The British Empire was the largest empire in history. Due to research (Pescheck, 2005), it is considered to be larger than the Mongol Empire. Historians assert it to last from 1815 during the power of Napoleon till 1942, when Hitler came to power in Germany. The British Empire ruled one fourth of the world`s territory using its colonies as the main source of its power and wealth. Most British colonies felt identity with Great Britain, like India and that sense of identity was rather strong. In 1940, the estimated number of the British Empire population was 600 million people who considered themselves as a part of British people.
Contrary to nowadays, land and seas were power. In today`s world environment there are different values of power and empire, such as business, military and political influence.
The British Empire was mainly based on the sea trade and power. Slavery was the main source of income of the ruling British government. Scholars estimate the importance of the British Empire in terms of implementing capitalism, trade, parliaments, football and English language, which had become widely spread all over the world.
After WWII the USA gained its powerful position in the world attracting more and more labor forces, scientists, technological innovations, etc. It was a starting point of transforming the main influence from Britain to the United States (Bowden, 2009). Due to its rapid growth in economic, political, military and scientific spheres the USA has become one of the most powerful and influential country in the world. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the United States gained an absolute dominance over the other countries, what gave them the opportunity to influence upon other countries` development, domestic and international affairs, etc. the fact that in the U.S. territory there were no such disastrous wars as in Europe, the country enriched its wealth and power.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the U.S. Empire does exist and there should not be any doubt about that. It is more strong and powerful than any other empire that existed in history (Pescheck, 2005). The U.S. Empire was developed from the British Empire not just as a simple replacement of powers, but due to its economic, political and military power and status in the world. Once considering the British Empire as a commercial and slavery one, the U.S. Empire is more sophisticated and powerful in terms of economy, military power, technology, science, etc. It goes without saying that most global countries and their economy are dependent on the United States of America. On the other hand, the USA is making a great contribution to the world`s economy, protection of various countries from terrorism, different disasters and threats.