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It is often wondered how the superpowers achieved their position of dominance It seems that the maturing of the two superpowers Russia and the United States can be traced to World War II To be a superpower a nation needs to have a strong economy an overpowering military immense international political power and related to this a strong national ideology It was this war and its results that caused each of these superpowers to experience such a preponderance of power Before the war both nations were fit to be described as great powers but it would be erroneous to say that they were superpowers at that point To underezd how the second World War impacted these nations so greatly we must examine the causes of the war The United States gained its strength in world affairs from its status as an economic power In the years before the war America was the worlds largest producer In the USSR at the same time Stalin was implementing his five year plans to modernise the Soviet economy From these situations similar foreign policies resulted from widely divergent origins Roosevelts isolationism emerged from the wide and prevalent domestic desire to remain neutral in any international conflicts It commonly widely believed that Americans entered the first World War simply in order to save industrys capitalist investments in Europe Whether this is the case or not Roosevelt was forced to work with an inherently isolationist Congress only expanding its horizons after the bombing of Pearl Harbour He signed the Neutrality Act of 1935 making it illegal for the United States to ship arms to the belligerents of any conflict The act also stated that belligerents could buy only non-armaments from the US and even these were only to be bought with cash In contrast Stalin was by necessity interested in European affairs but only to the point of concern to the USSR Russian foreign policy was fundamentally Leninist in its concern
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