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The History of U.S. Hegemony

The U.S. has been the lone global superpower for roughly 20 years, probably the shortest period of such hegemony by a major economic power in the world’s history. If you combine that period with the previous 45 years when the U.S. shared that status with the Soviet Union, we are talking about a total of 65 years, still a tiny drop in the bucket of time. If you want to think in terms of significant superpowers, counted in centuries rather than decades, think of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, Shangs and Zhous (of China), or even the British and Spanish of the 13th to 19th centuries. The U.S. and Russia were fortunate enough to find themselves in that position because the major European powers nearly destroyed themselves during World War II. At that time, Japan’s economic advancement had not yet commenced, while China remained mired in the throes of unproductive communism.

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