U.S. influence on the world

With the world’s most powerful military and largest economy, the United States has unique influence on global affairs. 

That outsized influence makes its foreign policy particularly important. Decisions made in Washington—especially about peace and security—are bolstered by the United States’ intricate network of alliances and often have far-reaching consequences, affecting people thousands of miles away. And, for many years, access to the U.S. market and the U.S. dollar has been a boon for countries. U.S. trade restrictions, on the other hand, can harm foreign economies.

Moreover, the United States’ influence, which emerged in earnest following World War II, allowed the country to play a leading role in developing international institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank. The growth of other world powers, such as China and Russia, could decrease U.S. dominance in the future. However, as long as American sway  remains strong, the United States’ foreign policy decisions will continue to have enormous influence around the globe.

In this video, we explore the forces that support American authority and the ways the United States has used its position to create and lead an international order since 1945.

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