What is the significance of the U.S. and U.K being the only modern states to have acted hegemonously across the globe

Essay by mf94University, Bachelor'sA, November 2009

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"Hegemony depended entirely on economic and political relations that each country had at the time." During the 19th Century both Britain and the U.S. had colonies in other areas of the world, and as they both had found gold overseas, it meant that they had a monopoly over other, not so well-off countries.

Britain used this power to create the London financial market, to act as a financier for other countries and facilitated the system of sterling balances, which therefore led other countries such as Germany and France to join the gold standard in order to improve their currency when trading.

This therefore gave Britain and the U.S. a greater global political standing. And helped to liquefy world markets. However it must be noted that nowadays that the gold standard is removed, there is no similar system in place which allows one or two countries such a vast degree of control over the others' currencies.

The Euro and single market in the EU is heavily protected by rules etc.

Britain's political power was also increased following the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty with France in 1860. This abolished the reciprocity requirement it established free trading between the two countries. France in turn then established free trading with other countries a few years later. It could therefore be argued that Britain was in fact the creator Free trade enterprise.

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND BRITAIN- Reduction of barriers to international free trade by dismantling colonial blocs- Advanced by political reconstruction following WW2- Free trade made available by using military bases abroad to export goods.

- Loaned other countries following the war, therefore had established economic superiority over them.

- Guaranteed liberal unity by establishing supranational structures e.g. U.N., IMF etc.This institutionalised the U.S.'s political prowess across the globe.

The U.K was more specialised in the construction of 'Production Structure' in order to assert itself on the world stage.

Both had colonies abroad and shared the same western/liberal economic ideals.

Created international agencies to help the Third World post-colonialisation.Naval supremacy gave Britain the monopoly to exercise imperial power by sustaining commercial and industrial growth via overseas market expansion, e.g. Gibraltar/ Hong Kong commanded trade routes to America and the East.

BIBLIOGRAPHYShannley M, (1999) Industrialisation and the shifting Global Balances, 1815-1885