Explain what made the U.S the most powerful nation on the planet in the late 1940s. Describe two different ways that U.S power and influence affected other parts of the world in subsequent decades,...

Explain what made the U.S the most powerful nation on the planet in the late 1940s. Describe two different ways that U.S power and influence affected other parts of the world in subsequent decades, drawing your examples from two different continents.

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The United States became the most powerful nation in the world in the 1940s. There were reasons for this. Other countries were impacted by the development of our world power status.

After World War II ended, our economy did really well. People wanted to buy products that they were unable to buy during the war. The government also helped the economy grow by passing the GI Bill of Rights. This gave benefits to many veterans. They were able to further their education, buy homes, and invest in businesses. These factors also helped our economy grow.

The United States had developed a strong military, which grew stronger after the war ended. Unlike European countries that had been ravaged by two world wars from start to finish, the United States joined both wars after they began. We were able to build up and strengthen our military during and after these wars. We developed new technologies, such as atomic weapons, that gave us more power and influence. By the end of the war, it was clear we were the leader of the free world.

Our power was felt in many ways in many continents. We helped other countries remain noncommunist. The United States took the lead with the United Nations forces in helping keep South Korea free from communist rule. We led the United Nations forces in driving North Korea out of South Korea.

We also showed our influence in the Middle East. The United States backed Israel in its many disputes with Egypt. We gave both economic aid and military aid to Israel. Israel remains the only democracy in the region, partially as a result of this aid.

We have also been involved in helping bring communism to an end in Eastern Europe. Through economic pressure and diplomacy, President Reagan worked closely with the Soviet Union to encourage allowing more freedoms in the regions the Soviet Union controlled in Eastern Europe. As a result of the Soviet policies under Mikhail Gorbachev of Glasnost and Perestroika, changes began to occur in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union couldn’t keep up with our increased military spending. The Soviet economy began to falter, and these changes in policies under Mikhail Gorbachev led to movements that led to an end of communism in many Eastern European countries as well as in the Soviet Union.

The might of the United States was very clearly seen after World War II ended in many ways and in many places.