The concept of the establishment of spheres of influence is definitely a significant factor in determining the ability and strength of a superpower.
Many do not agree that a superpower should establish spheres of influence, because it can lead to resentment towards the superpower in some cases. However, it is clear that it is in the best interest of a superpower to establish spheres of influence. This is because they benefit the country economically, along with promoting friendly relations.Having spheres of influence also allow superpowers to spread their political beliefs and ideologies and prevent these nations from being introduced to opposing ideas.
One of the main intentions of establishing a sphere of influence is to benefit economically from the smaller nation. This clearly is in the best interest of the superpower. For example, Cuba being a sphere of influence of the United States had greatly benefited Americans up until Castro’s revolution in 1958. During the 1950’s, the role of the United States in the Cuban economy grew tremendously.
The telephone, electrical, sugar, and railway industries were prospering. The United States would import Cuban agricultural and mineral products, and export manufactured goods into Cuba. This economic imperialism further strengthened the United States and proved the significance of having spheres of influence.
Along with economic growth, spheres of influence also promote friendly relations amongst nations. Becoming a sphere of influence of a superpower automatically gives the smaller nation a sense of comfort and protection.In a sense, its like the comfort an individual gets when he knows he has friends to be there for him when he needs them in times of distress, or if he is involved in a confrontation. For example, before Mao Tse-tung led his Peoples” Liberation Army to victory in China, his forces had been provided with military and technical support through Communist International (Comintern). This was a Soviet based organization which basically supported the action of Marxist parties. China, being influenced by the Soviets was able to form strong friendly relations with the Soviet Union.Not only this, but in February of 1950, the Chinese and Soviets signed a treaty of “friendship and mutual assistance”.
In the terms of this treaty, the Soviets provided China with $300 000 000 worth of goods and materials, and mutual military aid incase of an attack from Japan or its allies. It is clear that establishing spheres of influence can be responsible for the formation of strong friendly bonds between nations. Not only this, but establishing these spheres can help a superpower preach its beliefs and ideologies effectively.When a superpower initiates the formation of alliances, it is forming friendships along with spreading its beliefs and ideologies and policies.
A perfect example of such an alliance is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which was formed in 1949. This American alliance included most of western Europe. The purpose of this alliance was to guarantee the security and freedom of member countries through a system of collective defense. Directly opposing this was the Warsaw Pact, a Soviet alliance which included most of eastern Europe which was formed in 1955.The purpose of this alliance was for the countries to defend each other if they were attacked. The countries allied with the United States were all democratic nations while those in the east were communist. This clearly demonstrates the idea of promoting political ideologies in a superpower’s sphere of influence. This formation of American alliances in Europe also helped the American policy of containment of soviet Expansion in Europe.
It prevented the communist ideas of the east from coming into the democratic west. The establishment of spheres of influence can benefit a superpower economically, and can form friendly relations.Along with this, spheres of influence allow the promotion of political beliefs and ideologies through direct influence. Many people do not support the concept of spheres of influence due to the fact that it can become a basis of resentment between nations, because not all nations prosper from being spheres of influence. Despite this, it is clear that it is in the best interest of superpowers to establish spheres of influence. This concept has been extremely important in the past and continues to be significant in strengthening of superpowers.