“What the world would be like if Trump wins the US Presidential election?” Intellectuals all over the globe are trying to solve the above stated riddle, not so easy task though. This single question shows the importance of the US in our contemporary world. It would not be wrong to say that we live in the US centric world, occasionally challenged by China, but the fact is the US could check the rise of China but later couldn’t. So now the bigger question is how the US attained the status of world power, a status which it monopolized in post cold war era. To answer this we need to look into the geographical, historical, economical and political factor. In fact all these factors are some way or other interconnected.
Columbus discovery of America was followed by flow of immigrants from Europe, they were mainly people who were enterprising but social structure of Europe based on feudalism was not allowing them to improve their status. Meanwhile commercial enterprises too focused their eyes on vast resources of this new land. So these commercial enterprises and European immigrants laid the foundation of the US. It should be noted here that these new people marginalized the local population and for more physical works, slaves were being imported from Africa. Exploitation is always intrinsic in the process of development. Later on European commercial enterprises were thrown out of America for being colonial in nature as they were economically working for well being of Europe and not for America. Boston Tea party was in fact a workers’ revolution against the capitalist system of pre-Marxist world. Integration of America into the United States of America is a living example of assimilation of different economic system, southern part was agriculture based economy (cash crops) and northern part was industry based economy. But unlike India, the US has relatively weak central govt. and individual states enjoy greater autonomy.
The US followed the inward looking economic policies in its early years where high tariff and non tariff barriers were placed on imports; this led to rise of domestic industries without competition from their European counterparts. Resource rich lands were lottery for them and add on advantage was that these lands were geographically isolated as at that time ships were the only way of transportation to reach the US. These factors helped the US to grow peacefully and it accumulated a lot of wealth. Though luck alone was not the only reason; political stability, rule of law and ease of doing business were vital for economy growth and the US was endowed with all of these but still the US was not leader before World War 1.
There is a saying that “war is a good business” and this is what the US followed to reach at top of the ladder. Wars have been hyperbole factor for the US economy growth trajectory and this economy superiority over others helped the US to rule over all the sovereign entities. Initially the US kept itself aloof from World War 1, taking any side could negatively impact its market. But then Bolshevik revolution took place in Russia which overthrew Czar Regime and world’s first communist regime was established in Russia under Lenin’s leadership this was followed by over assertion by Germany blocking sea trade route to hamper allied powers. Under these circumstances the US entered war field with its huge resources including recently accumulated wealth. It helped allied forces with weapons, credits, foods and other necessary items and thus tilted victory in favor of Allied powers. But nothing comes for free; the US earned handsome amount in return of materials supplied during war and after war continued earning interest income on war time credit. Germany was made to pay war penalty to allied powers under the treaty of Versailles and when it defaulted in payment, then the US gave credit to Germany, then Germany paid to allied powers and allied powers finally paid their own debt to the US. Thus directly or indirectly money was flowing towards the US. In this way the US plundered the world economy for a decade, almost all countries except communist USSR became integrated with the US economy, its growth was booming, but then suddenly it was halted. Its stock exchange crashed followed by bearish speculation and modern world witnessed its 1st great depression, which ended laissez faire policy forever. With great depression, other countries’ economies which were integrated with the US’s economy were affected too and due to their economic crisis they were neither able to buy American products nor able to pay their war time loan to the US. Thus the US economy loomed further. Under these circumstances right wing rose in many European countries and which finally led to World War 2. Like World War 1, initially the US didn’t take side but later on it started supporting allied powers and finally Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor due to the US pro Chinese stand. USSR too joined allied powers due to over ambitious attempt of Hitler to acquire Russian land and resources to fulfill his dream of Lebensraum. It is here to be mentioned that it was USSR who scored the major victories over axis powers during world war 2, after Hitler’s suicide Germany surrendered & it was planned that USSR will attack Japan and end the war. But the US stabbed USSR at back by attacking Japan with nuclear weapons which wasn’t necessary at that time. Actual aim of the US was to take credit of victory and project its military superiority over USSR.
Nuclear attack on Japan started cold war between the US and USSR after World War 2. After World War 2, European powers were totally shattered and this made them to grant independence to their colonies and thus imperialism ended. With the fall of European powers there was no one to challenge the US except USSR. Cold war started and the US started interfering in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of checking expansion of communism, though gaining hold over international market was the main reason. It got itself involved in USSR, Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, South America, and South Asia. This coincided with act of violence, security dilemma for each nation, rise of terrorism, and rise of extremist forces and all these were funded by the US. The US supplied weapons and funds to all the parties in conflicts thus gaining benefit out of everyone. For instance, it was because of restricting flow of Jews immigrants in the US and forcing British to establish Jewish state, Israel came into existence after World War 2. This led to continuous violence between Israel and Arab world but the irony is; Jewish state, Israel is the US ally and the other party, Saudi Arabia, leader of Arab world, is also the US ally. War is always a profitable business, isn’t it?
Self Help is the US way of life, for them if other people are ready to be fooled then it is their fault for being naïve. Divide and Rule is tried and tested principle and the US knows how to leverage it for own benefits. In fact any other nation who would be in the US position would do the same thing if they want well being of their people and it’s up to other nations that how they want to use their relations with the US to safeguard own interest rather than becoming a mere pawn in the game of power struggle. Japan, South Korea, China and Israel are some of the key players who successfully used their relations with the US for own betterment and other nations like India, Cuba, Iran etc who are now facing dilemma of having fully fledged relation with the US or not should study the policies of these American aided successful nations, this is the only way. International relations are very volatile and nation needs to adapt itself to changing situations as soon as possible, the one who takes initiative first would have advantage of gambit. Mind it.