Essay: Symptoms of Hegemonic War

Sample Essay

Thucydides also found that hegemonic war symptoms were very similar to that of a disease. In the initial phase, a stable system with a hierarchical ordering of the states in the system experience a growth in powers of one of the subordinate states and that starts a conflict between the dominant states and the rising state for the status quo. The struggle between these two states and their allies lead to a crisis with a bipolar environment which further deteriorates into a hegemonic war.

In the case of Cold War, this can be applied to both the United States and the Soviet Union. Both had a similar power status in the International system, but, the events of the early 20th century especially the world wars propelled them to become players in the global theatre and thus establish themselves as rival to each other. Especially before the World War II, the United States was recovering for the great depression and was well below in top militaries of the world[1]. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was suffering from isolation. The Soviet Army too was under equipped and under manned as well[2]. However, with the start of the Second World War, they began utilizing their resources to develop and economy and their strength through which they could defeat the global threat of Axis domination. The immense attrition of the English and French forces also acted as a catalyst in emphasizing the position of these two countries, as the only dominant players in the European theater at that time. Hence, driven by their pride and fears, the struggle by both the US and the Soviet Union to establish their mark in Europe, gave rise to a bi-polar environment which further deteriorated into both nations trying to create their hegemony using all possible means[3].


[1] McArdle, M., Did World War II end the Great Depression?,17 February 2009 <http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/02/did_world_war_ii_end_the_great.php>

[2] Mayer, E., Stalin’s Economic Policy 1930-40, 2009, Retrieved  20 November  2009 <http://www.emayzine.com/lectures/STALIN.html>

[3] Same as (2)

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