The world exists in cycles. Cycles are replicated in all dominant areas of life. From climatic weather patters to the business seasons, the world is all in cycles. The root of this article is in the cycles that have characterized the rise of world empires, most importantly the American empire. The purpose of writing this article was not to give a historical account of these cycles but to show how the traditional world order that could have given rise to uniform civilization and industrialization was hampered by the rise of empires. The gist of this article is on the growth of the American empire. Indeed, the author tries to create a different picture of the American empire that may not have been seen by most people.
Most historical who have accounted for the rise of the American empire have capped their analysis to civil wars, colonization, world wars, capitalism and others. They have not looked the empires in their entirety. In these historical accounts, the rise of the American empire has been conceptualized in terms of working political systems, research and development, democracy and others. This is the main problem that the author is addressing in this paper. By placing the American empire into its world historical setting, the author shows that the empire was built on sweat, blood, exploitation, and sacrifice of the so called third world.
The main reason for writing this article was to expound on the historical cycles that led to creation of empires. The author makes the intention of the article at the opening by stating that the United States expansion happened in the context of the word and as a part of the new world order of expansion .“The United States’ ‘rise to globalism’ cannot be properly understood outside of the world historical context in which it occurred” (Golub 20). The author wants to show that without the changes that took place in the world, it would have been difficult to have such powerful empire like the United States. To illustrate this point, the author takes a historical tour of the old and the new world order. The author places the development of the American empire on the bases of the initial growth of the exploitative British Empire. Without the growth of the British Empire, America would just be like any other country in the world struggling like any other. The author wants to correct the misconception in the mind of most people that sees the American empire as the most advanced in the world therefore attributed good governance, hard work, good education system, and other advantages to this success. To deconstruct this notion, the author takes the reader through a long journey of historical analysis of the old and the new world order.
To show the root of the American empire, the author starts by analyzing the pre-industrial revolution economic system. The main aim of this analysis is to show how the spread of the British Empire interpreted a normal cycle of the world economy. One of the strengths of this article is that the author illustrates the main points and supports them with data or historical accounts. This is important in history because it guarantees the author an authority over what he or she is writing about. The author shows that prior to the rise of the British Empire that gave rise of the American Empire the world was dominated by a number of empires that were experiencing uniform industrialization. Using data, the author further shows that China and India were the dominant manufacturing powerhouses of the world but this too a nosedive once the countries were colonized. The author states that, “The two major regions that were most ‘central’ to the world economy were India and China. That centrality rested primarily on their outstanding absolute and relative productivity in manufactures” (Golub 23) The author shows that the rise of the British Empire was a distraction to the world order and contrary to what most people have been made to believe, British was as industrialized as the rest of the world.
To further map the path of the rise of American empire. The author shows how exploitation was at the heart of the growth of this empire. Most people believe that Britain and the United States had relative advantages that enabled them to industrialize than the rest of the world. However, the author shows that the expansion of the western empires and creation of transatlantic strong economies was not based on prior economic, political or social advantage but on the exploitative slave labor in the Americas. The author states that, “The picture of the world prior to the industrial revolution and worldwide European expansion that has emerged thanks to these studies is not one of longstanding western advantage built on culture, rationality, and supposedly superior scientific, technical and economic capabilities” (Golub 21).
There was not relative advantage that could have led to the development of the empire or that made these empires special compared to the rest of the world. The formation of the American empire and indeed many other empires in the world has been through imperialism and exploitation. The author explains, “Imperialism became an ‘extraordinary dynamic force’. Formal and informal expansion, the visible and invisible hands of empire, enmeshed world regions that had previously enjoyed relative autonomy and prosperity in webs of political and economic dependency“(Golub 26-27). This eventually divided the world into durable hierarchies of and international inequality leading to the construction of the term third world. This drives home the point of the author that when placed in the international historical context, the American empire is likely to be harshly judged because it developed on the bases of sweat, blood, and exploitation of the so called third world countries.
In conclusion, the main purpose for writing this article is to reveal the truth behind the growth of the American empire. The author aims at deconstructing the myths that have been created around the superiority of the western world, especially the American empire that has belittled many in the developing world. By mapping the development of the American empire in the global context, the author shows that there was nothing special that led to the rise of the empire apart from a lapse in history that allowed the formation of the British Empire. The author has used data and historical accounts to drive the point home. In addition, this article has been written in plain simple English that anyone can understand and it appears the author was not targeting any particular audience. This article has a good explanation of the rise of the British and American empire and the ushering in of the new world order that has first, second, and third world countries.
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