The United States as a World Power

The United States as a World Power

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The United States as a World Power

The United States as a World Power

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Excerpt

Twenty years ago the expression "world power" was unknown in most languages; to-day it is a political commonplace, bandied about in wide discussion. But the term is lacking in exactness. Men differ as to its meaning, as to the countries to which it can properly be applied, and as to the moment when it first becomes applicable to them. Sometimes it seems to be appropriately used of a country in one connection, but not in another; and in a certain sense it may be applied to nearly all independent states, for all may be called upon to maintain their particular rights and interests in any quarter of the globe, and all may take part in framing regulations for the general welfare of mankind. And yet, uncertain as the limits of the phrase may be, it conveys a pretty definite conception, -- a conception that is of recent origin, although there is nothing new in the political sentiments to which it owes its birth.

The idea that one people should control the known world is ancient enough, its most salient expression being found in imperial Rome and equally imperial China; and it is not extinct even now. We may to-day condemn all mere lust of domination, and hope that, as civilization progresses, the stronger peoples will more and more regard the weaker ones as having rights as sacred as their own; but complete equality has never existed, and can never exist, between . . .

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