Pax Romana began in 27 B.C. with the reign of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, ushering in a period of security and stability. Commerce and culture spread from Britain to Africa and the Middle East.
Pax Britannica, likewise, created an empire that spread over the globe from India to the Americas, lasting from the Napoleonic Wars to World War I.
The Monroe Doctrine began United States dominance in the Western Hemisphere in 1823, the beginning of Pax Americana. After the horrors of World War II, Albert Einstein warned that everything had changed following the unleashing of the atom, and that mankind requires a new way of thinking to avoid unparalleled catastrophe. The U.S. emerged first among equals on all fronts, wielding immense economic and military power.
Pax Americana became a global empire and we used it wisely, reconstructing Western Europe, transforming Japan and South Korea, spearheading the creation the U.N., the World Bank, and rules-based trading and monetary systems. Our nation envisioned a world where differences can be discussed, common interests can emerge, and the world can move beyond war. Indeed, by binding nations together and promoting security and economic commitments, centuries of clan and national warfare that Europe endured is nearly unimaginable now.
Twenty-nine NATO nations give mutual support, demonstrated by their solidarity with the U.S. following 9/11. Nations can now forge a stable peace where democracy, human rights, and the rule of law can flourish. Every president since 1945 has promoted stable multilateral relationships to create a connected world whose nations would no longer conceive of war as problem-solving.
In a world economy and environment, multi-national alliances are essential, yet the U.S. is withdrawing from many into an ‘America First’ isolationism. The U.S. has pulled out of vital multilateral initiatives such as the Paris Climate Change Accord to check rising global temperatures, and security regimes such as the Iran Agreement to verifiably monitor nuclear development.
The average duration of the world’s great civilizations has approximated 200 years, each progressing:
• From Bondage to Spiritual Faith
• From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
• From Courage to Liberty
• From Liberty to Abundance
• From Abundance to Selfishness
• From Selfishness to Complacency
• From Complacency to Apathy
• From Apathy to Decadence
• From Decadence back to Bondage
Attend talk Sept. 27
Join a conversation with Hamilton College professor of international relations, Dr. Alan Cafruny, about ways our nation can contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. He will speak about "Pax Americana in Jeopardy" on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center, Campus Road, Clinton.
Carol S. White, President
Upper Mohawk Valley chapter, United Nations Association (UNA)