Clearly, this was true of the Napoleonic Empire, which made rapid gains by conquest in the first decade after Napoleon became dictator of France , but became over-extended militarily when it attempted to conquer Russia in We Need to Know. Rather, the totality of those three factors cumulatively puts the United States on a path to decline. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Cambridge University Press, , pp.

Languages Deutsch Nederlands Norsk Edit links. Bush and the Hubris of Empire Canada: Those that disregard the economic data that indicates unsustainability often do so from a moral stand point, claiming that if the United States has the power and resources to lift up other nations, then there is a moral obligation to do so. Thus, a new historiography will likely come into view that reflects the current shift in global power, in which the U. We Need to Know.

Bush and the Hubris of Empire Canada: 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.

Kennedy saw an increasingly fractured world, in which smaller political units would emerge within the vacuum of such a decline.

Imperial overstretch – Wikipedia

Arguably, this was true of the Roman Empirewhich was strong and effective in the first and early second centuries CE, despite a few setbacks Germany in 9CE; Scotland in the 80s CE but lost territories e. Instead of being a force for good-which they were no doubt intended to be-these incursions have devastated many societies and left them more vulnerable to further disasters of their own making.


Smil points out that perceptions in the West as well as within Russia and China themselves, ran counter to projections of how economies would develop in the Communist world. Arrighi and Silver note that the conclusion of U.

Imperial overstretch

This is an extremely difficult topic worthy of patient discussion. Because of this policy, Layne contends that the U. The problem with this approach is that these histories are open to criticism that they are too vague, and are subject impeeial a kind of historical shorthand that misses the nuances of large dynamic shifts. Nevertheless, this resulted in grave political liabilities that eventually contributed to the collapse of the Soviet system. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The author laments that the U.

Rostow embeds this type of policy in the language of partnership particularly with Europe and balance of power rather than hegemony, avoiding the subtext of American dominance in such a relationship.

Harvard University Press,pp. Jason Weixelbaum Publications and Research. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. I am happy to have finally discovered someone critical of applying Alex Tocquville.

Cambridge University Press,pp. Views Read Edit View history. The current major issue in a discussion of American hegemony is the ongoing global economic crisis. Germany in Imperia Policy from Stalin to Gorbachev. The Peace of Illusions: The other major issue in any exploration of the historiography of imperial overstretch is the methodology various authors have employed to describe it.


define imperial overstretch thesis

American hegemony and the historiography of empires in decline. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Might Washington, like Rome, fall victim to imperial overstretch?

The Danger of Imperial Overstretch

This is not a new challenge to the study of international history, which naturally includes the interstate interactions inherent to the examination of all empires. This site uses cookies to deliver a better user experience. Hannes Adomeit has also written about this concept, as is apparent in his similarly titled work, Imperial Overstretch: He has over 10 years of experience at sea enforcing immigration, counter-narcotics, and environmental protection laws.

Both methods can be useful, as this essay will demonstrate, in explaining the reasons behind imperial decline.

define imperial overstretch thesis

Webarchive template wayback links Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from November All articles needing rewrite Articles with attributed pull quotes All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from November All defne articles. Like Alexis de Tocqueville, who Kennedy could claim as a predecessor, he saw an emergent bipolar world, dominated by Russia and the United States.