There are many factors of defining a country as a world power. These factors include the economic, military, diplomatic, and cultural strength, as well as the impact that the country has on the world at an international level. World War I shifted the balance of power, as it altered these factors for many nations. Some nations, such as Germany, weren’t as powerful due to the restrictions on their armed forces, and the economic problems caused by inflation. On the other hand, the United States came to be considered a world power after WWI, particularly due to its economic and military strength, as well as its profound impact on the world.

     Before WWI, the US army was not overly powerful, relative to the other European powers. However, upon entering the war, the size of the army climbed to above four million. The American soldiers provided the support that the Allies needed, and helped turn the tide of the war at the Second Battle of Marne. Additionally, new battleships from the U.S. Navy helped guard convoys bringing supplies to the soldiers. These two examples show how WWI resulted in a dramatic increase in the military power of the U.S. The new U.S. military also matched up well against other European powers, which is another sign of becoming a world power. For example, Japan’s success in the Russo-Japanese war caused Japan to become viewed as a world power.

     Directly after WWI, the U.S. economy also contributed to its status as a world power. During the war, industry greatly rose, and new technologies were introduced to increase production. Overall, the wealth of the public improved, and less people were without jobs. Additionally, during the relatively long period of time in which the U.S. was physically uninvolved in the war, huge amounts of money were made by selling war supplies to other countries (, 1). These benefits from WWI made the U.S. economy very strong at the immediate end of WWI, adding more evidence that supported a view of the United States as a world power.

One of the most important defining aspects of a world power is their effect on the world. Undoubtedly, the U.S. showed that they have a significant impact on world events with their actions during WWI. In addition to that, the U.S. had begun to have a significant international influence even before WWI, with their new expansionist policy, and the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary. Their influence reached Cuba, with the Platt Amendment to the Cuban constitution (, 1). Furthermore, the U.S. intervened with their military in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua (, 1).

     The influence of the U.S. included more than just their policy of intervention in Latin America. Roosevelt played the role of peacemaker in the Russo-Japanese war, and also helped solve the First Moroccan Crisis between the French and the Germans (, 1). These examples show that by the time WWI ended, the U.S. was a significant country on an international level.

     In the years leading up to WWI, and especially during WWI, the U.S. grew in military and economic might. The international influence of the U.S. also grew considerably during this period, overall making the U.S. a world power. The role of the U.S. as a world power, then and now, is very important, as it has a large effect on the world as a whole. With the power, the U.S. assumed the responsibility to protect and intervene in global issues. This has caused the U.S. to affect the outcome of many major world events, changing the course of history. In addition, the power of the U.S. has led, to a certain extent, worldwide cultural assimilation. This is expressed as American fast food restaurants and stores worldwide, as well as the spread of the “more is better” ideology. This cultural assimilation creates problems in our world today, from millions of would-be drivers in China to terrorists fighting the spread of Western culture. 

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