Originally Posted by Florian
Would you care to explain? Or do you, like sugarkang, expect me to accept some Humpty-Dumpty definition of empire? As you well know words have a history, they are history in fact.
Americans, I am afraid, tend to confuse military hegemony (=the most powerful military and arsenal of weaponry ) with empire. They are not the same. No more than the comicbook superheroes of Hollywood (Batman, Terminator etc. etc) are true heroes.
I would think the opposite, actually. Most Americans are very uncomfortable thinking of us as an "Empire".
But strictly speaking, that is exactly what we have been since the earliest days of the nation. Just within the continental United States. An Empire suggests a variety of distinct peoples or cultures subordinated beneath a single government, as well as a certain scale in terms of territory. The United States has fit both of those categories since the 1840s with the annexation of entire Indian nations under imperium. Then if you count the settling of state sovereignty, you gradually change "states" into "provinces". Then add Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, all three foreign possessions with differing ethnic populations and languages annexed and absorbed every bit as much as Cisalpine Gaul.
That's without even arguing the point about client states.