Balance of Power Essay

1231 Words 5 Pages
In the modern International System where does the balance of power stand? In the past, it had shifted from empire to empire, sometimes many empires held power at once. To explain the polarity of the world today we must first examine the definition of power in order to know what it means to have power and how it spreads. Then we must look at the polarity of the past to determine how the powers of today got to where they are now and what it took to be unipolar and how it is challenged today.
Power, since the beginning of human history has been a force that drives man. Every civilization has aimed to increase its power, locally or globally. How is power defined? According to Dr. Robert Dahl, political science professor at Yale University
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A more modern example will be the Americans trying to limit the nuclear program of Iran, at this point with economic sanctions. If a nation manages to limit the power of others to the point where the balance of power is shifted towards them, then they will create a unipolar system in which they sit on top. Power is best strong when it is less dispersed (Ferguson, 2003).
To determine if the current International System is a unipolar system we first have to look at the rise to power of the possible unipolar power. After World War 2, when most of Europe laid in ruins, two major powers, U.S.A and U.S.S.R, came out strong to become super powers. The United States was lucky to have no bombs dropped on it infrastructures, it still had a standing industry capable of mobilizing an army. On the other hand, the U.S.S.R greatly suffered in comparison to the United States. Fortunately, majority of its industry had still survived up in the Ural Mountains, untouched by the Nazi invasion. As a result of the destruction of other major powers, both these nations had an economic advantage in becoming super powers. The world had become bipolar, with power dispersed between the U.S.A and U.S.S.R. Both super powers were leaders of opposite ideologies and in a bipolar system the second- tier powers compared and aligned themselves with either powers…