The Rise of the USA as a Superpower

The

Rise of the USA as a Superpower

The development and use of nuclear power
has led to the United States assuming a position as the true World Military

Superpower. The Unites States was the leader in planning, building,
testing and actually using the most powerful nuclear weapon known to man.

This country also led the world in relatively safe production of nuclear
power. The only other competitor to the United States, the Soviet

Union, had poor leaders, induced a poor economy, and eventually led the
country to lose the race for superpower.

During World War II, the United States
began the research and development of the atomic bomb. Code-named
the Manhattan Project, it took place in a government built city in New

Mexico called Los Alamos. General Leslie Groves and physicist Robert

Oppenheimer led the research to create this atomic bomb. The mission
was to build, test and, if necessary, unleash an atomic bomb. With
the many people working on creating and building this bomb, they completed
it within the short amount of time given. In July of 1945, they tested
the nuclear bomb in New Mexico. It was a success. The very
next month, an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima.

Only a few days later, the atomic bomb "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki.

It was around this time that the United States found out that nobody, not
even Germany or the Soviet Union, was anywhere close to competing with
the U.S. in atomic weaponry. The atomic bomb was dropped not only
to end the war with the Japanese, but to show the world, especially the

Soviet Union, how powerful the United States was in its government, its
military, its technology, and its people. The fact that it was a
new bomb and being the first type of its kind ever created also caused
an eagerness to use the bomb and see how it would work. These three
factors are the reasons behind the United States dropping the atomic bomb
on Japan, as they unknowingly and unintentionally began the nuclear age
and the Cold War.

The Cold War began as World War II was
ending. The United States and the Soviet Union came out of the previous
war nearly equal in strength, with the United States having the upper hand,
being the first to create and use such intense nuclear power. It
was during this time that these countries were competing to become the

World Superpower. Nuclear power, for the purposes of electricity
as well as weaponry, was going to be the determining factor as to who would
be the greater Superpower. The United States leadership was strong
and organized. The economy was good and growing stronger. The

Soviet Union was not doing as well. Formerly being under the rule
of Stalin, with strict centralization where it was only the highest party
levels that made any and all decisions who ruled by decree and enforced
with terror, the Soviet people and economy was stagnating. Strict
centralization continued and eventually led to economic decline, inefficiency,
and apathy during the 1970s and 1980s, and contributed to the Chernobyl\'
nuclear disaster.

The great disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear

Power Plant in 1986 was the final string cut that led not only to the Soviet

Union losing its war to become the greatest World Superpower, but furthermore,
the collapse of the Soviet system. The Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant
was being run by people who made mistakes maintaining the power supply,
who were tired of their own country, and who simply didn\'t care.

This careless conduct led to poor maintenance and low output of nuclear
power. To correct for this, some steps were taken to increase the
power output. During the effort to correct the low power output,
one final error occurred, and the consequences were tremendous. One
of the reactors exploded and released huge doses of radiation. The
ambitious nuclear power program of the Soviet Union was now over.

The Unites States led the world in nuclear
technology by producing the atomic bomb, and had the courage to use it
- twice. This proved to the world that the United States was a Superpower
they should fear. The United States also had good leaders whom kept the
economy strong, and kept the people in order. The Soviet Union however,
trailed behing the United States. They did not have the technology
to produce the amount of nuclear power that the United States had, nor
the economy to support the research. Their economy was not only poor,
but also continually declining. With these