Hegemony has become a major aspect of today's foreign policy, it has taken the place of imperialism and empires. There are vast differences between Britain's Empire of the 18th and 19th centuries and the hegemon that has taken it's place during the 20th and early 21st centuries, The United States. An Empire is a single nation that forcibly controls another nation, preferably lacking in strong central government, without specifically incorporating it into the country itself. The true definition of hegemony is the blurred distinction between primacy and overt domination, but in today's society, the term was chosen in an aversion of the negative connotation to the word Empire.
To completely define the difference between hegemony and imperialism it is good to compare two shining examples, Britain and The United States. Britain's rise to an empire was a long one. The island had been attacked and defended for centuries, keeping it on the cusp of militaristic technology. With this power it was easy to spread influence, first by expanding the navy to control trade routes, then by enlarge the size of the infantry, allowing conquering of land. Over time, the empire became too big and because of a combination of excessive wars, slave and peasant revolts, and length of communication. Communication was an imperative factor, it took far too long to be efficient, thus slowing response times to the aforementioned problems. This pattern of expansion has become all to familiar throughout history, from the Romans to the ancient Chinese Dynasties.
The dawn of The U.S.'s imperialism has happened at a time of great economical, technological, and social changes. All of the problems encountered by the previous empires, especially Britain, have been bypassed, creating a potentially unstoppable nation. The matter of communication has been overcome, two people on opposite sides of the world can hold a conversation in real-time.
Slave and peasant revolts are an obstacle that took a...
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