Balance of Power

By Ross Petersen

Balance of Power

A country's power is determined by several factors, including (but not limited to) it's size, army, economy, population, and wealth. It is difficult for a country to successfully be extremely powerful in each of these aspects. One of the most powerful countries in the world is arguably the USA. The USA is very powerful, and that is because they succeed in many of these aspects.

Size

The USA is 3.79 million square miles. This is very large, especially considering that there are many countries that are not even comparable in size. The USA's size is a major factor in it's power. It allows the country to span over many different environments, allowing it to obtain many different resources which help it's economy. It also allows it to contain a larger and less dense population.
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Population

The USA has a population around 317 million. Again, this is a major benefit to the USA's power. Without people, a country is nothing. The USA has a very large number of people. These people assist the country in maintaining other aspects of power, such as the economy and the army.
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Education

The education in the USA is decent and very accessible. The public education is run by the state government or local government. Every child is required to go to school from either the age of 6 or 7 till they are 18. The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. This allows a majority of citizens in the country to be very well educated and will allow them to perform better task in society for their country.
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Military

The USA's military is very large and well funded. The president holds the title of commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces and appoints its leaders, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The United States Department of Defense administers the armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. . In 2008, the armed forces had 1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors. There are many citizens in the USA willing to serve their country. This makes the USA very threatening as it has access to a strong and large militant force that can overpower many other countries.
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Land and Physical Features

The USA is around the third or fourth largest country in the world, coming in at about the same size as China. Because the USA is large, it contains many resources and different environments. The USA has access to forests, mountains, plains, large water systems, and marshes. There are even areas very close to deserts. These areas contain many different natural resources, giving the USA access to resources other countries do not have.
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Economy

Recently, there have been some problems with the USA's economy, but it is recovering. The country is in debt, but for the average citizen, this is not a major problem as they don't see the effects. The USA has a capitalist mixed economy which supports free enterprise. The base of the economy was built off of it's abundant natural resources. While the country is in debt, that does not mean they are not producing money. In fact, the U.S. GDP of $17.1 trillion constitutes 22% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity. This shows how much money that the USA is able to produce, but also how much they are spending. With so much money, and not any fear of using it to increase their power, the USA is most definitely one of the strongest nations in the world.