And now, most recently, social unrest has started to surface in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. Smil predicts that even though the U. The other major issue in any exploration of the historiography of imperial overstretch is the methodology various authors have employed to describe it. You are commenting using your Twitter account. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In it, Kennedy argued, among other tenets, that the relative strength between the major powers in the world never remains constant, and that, repeatedly, a great power has thought it could engage in military adventures — extend itself beyond its ability to maintain those commitments, and neglect its economy, but the result has been empire decline.

Compared to , what has happened to the status of each -. Overspending on defense is weakening the United States’ economy and, by extension, is decreasing the nation’s power relative to other, major powers and nations. Maier argued that the term was so polarizing, it led to an oversimplification of the varied experiences great powers could have on the world stage. Historian Charles Maier struggled with the definition even as he attempted to explain their relative rise or decline in his work, Among Empires. Beyond the costs of the wars, Ferguson also warned of the forthcoming fiscal deficit that will expand as more baby boomers retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits. The United States has been fighting the Afghanistan War for more than 10 years.

A brief historiography of imperial overstretch and its relationship to American hegemony

This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat The electric grid must be upgraded. Might Washington, like Rome, fall victim to imperial overstretch? You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Jason Weixelbaum Publications and Research.


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The Danger of Imperial Overstretch | Foreign Policy Journal

McDougall interprets the United States foreign policy as seeking and supporting the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. And the United States will continue to weaken, if it does not substantially reduce its defense spending: And now, most recently, social unrest has started to surface in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. What’s more, underscoring — the United States did not have the money to overspend on defense during this period — it extended the militarily far beyond the nation’s ability to rationally support those adventures.

Vaclav Smil has also elaborated on the unpredictability of international power dynamics, demonstrating the stark differences between the geoeconomic experiences of Russia and China in the last four decades. American hegemony and the historiography of empires in decline The idea of imperial overstretch is not new to modern history.

imperial overstretch thesis definition

Harvard’s Kennedy was not the first to warn about the dangers of excessive defense spending. The Peace of Illusions: Oversrretch major opponent of this view was Walt Whitman Rostow, who argued against the inevitability of this change in power dynamics. This article about a political term is a stub.

imperial overstretch thesis definition

Further, it is that economic underperformance triggered by overspending on defense that leads to great power decline. Clearly, this was true of the Napoleonic Empire, which made rapid gains by conquest in the first decade after Napoleon became dictator of Francebut became over-extended militarily when it attempted to conquer Russia in Airports are woefully inadequate or in need of renovation. American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors Boston: Kennedy, for his imperiall, was astutely aware that the bipolar world of the post war era could only last so long.


Britain and the United States Surrey: Compared towhat has happened to the status of each. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Of course, Republicans, Tea Party faction members and other conservatives disagree with Kennedy’s imperial overstretch thesis.

Imperial overstretch – Wikipedia

But Ike was a Republican, a war hero, and an outstanding general, and hence the public never supported the wild, unsubstantiated, slanderous accusations by the demagogic U.

But that, in fact, is what’s happening in the United States — and what will continue to happen, if the U.

He has over 10 years of experience at sea enforcing immigration, counter-narcotics, and environmental protection laws. Compared towhat has happened to the status of each – Iran: It would have been more cost-effective and we would have been more successful had we just done commando raids, knocking off the bad guys, and rewarding the good, and fighting only on our terms, jumping in and jumping out.

However, unfortunately in the decades that followed the United States did not have ogerstretch as knowledgeable and formidable defense public policy professional as Eisenhower, and as a result the U.

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The Danger of Imperial Overstretch

This is an extremely difficult topic worthy of patient discussion. The discussion page may contain suggestions. The parallels between America and other collapsed empires have also been explored by political scientist Jack Snyder, who noted similarities between the recent U.