While there may be a formal alliance
or other treaty
obligations between the influenced and influencer, such formal arrangements are not necessary and the influence can often be more of an example of soft power
. Similarly, a formal alliance does not necessarily mean that one country lies within another's sphere of influence. High levels of exclusivity have historically been associated with higher levels of conflict.
In more extreme cases, a country within the "sphere of influence" of another may become a subsidiary of that state and serve in effect as a satellite state
or de facto colony
. The system of spheres of influence by which powerful nations intervene in the affairs of others continues to the present. It is often analyzed in terms of superpowers
, great powers
, and/or middle powers
The term is also used to describe non-political situations, e.g., a shopping mall
is said to have a 'sphere of influence' that designates the geographical area where it dominates the retail trade
Map of Africa in 1897 shows European "sphere[s] of influence".
Many areas of the world are joined by a cultural influence
inherited from a previous sphere of influence, even if they are no longer under political control. Examples include Anglosphere
, Arab World
, Latin Europe
, Chinese cultural sphere
, Malay world
, Post-Soviet States
and many others.
Early United States (1820s) New Imperialism era (late 1800s–early 1900s)
Delimitation of British and Russian influence in Iran
For Siam (Thailand
), Britain and France signed an agreement in 1904 whereby the British recognised a French sphere of influence to the east of the River Menam's (Chao Phraya River
) basin; in turn, the French recognised British influence over the territory to the west of the Menam basin and west of the Gulf of Thailand
. Both parties disclaimed any idea of annexing Siamese territory.
In the Anglo-Russian Convention
of 1907, Britain and Russia partitioned Persia (Iran
) into spheres of influence, with the Russians gaining recognition for influence over most of northern Iran, and Britain establishing a zone in the Southeast.
In China in the late 19th and early 20th century, Britain
, and Japan
had special powers over large swaths of territory based on securing "nonalienation commitments" for their "spheres of interest;" only the United States was unable to participate due to the Spanish–American War
These were taken by means of military attacks, or threats to force Chinese authorities to sign unequal treaties
and very long term "leases."
In early 1895, the French
laid claim to a sphere in Southwest China
By December 1897, German Kaiser Wilhelm II
declared his intent to seize territory in China, precipitating the scramble to demarcate zones of influence in China. The German government acquired, in Shandong
province, exclusive control over developmental loans, mining, and railway ownership,
while Russia gained a sphere over all territory north of the Great Wall
in addition to the previous tax exemption for trade in Mongolia
economic powers similar to Germany's over Fengtian
, and Heilongjiang
provinces. France gained a sphere over Yunnan
, as well as most of Guangxi
and the British Empire over the whole Yangtze River valley
(defined as all provinces adjoining the Yangtze river as well as Henan
parts of Guangdong
and part of Tibet
's request for Zhejiang
province was declined by the Chinese government.
These do not include the lease and concession territories
where the foreign powers had full authority.
Spheres of influence in Chinese empire in early 20th century
The Russian government militarily occupied their zone, imposed their law and schools, seized mining and logging privileges, settled their citizens, and even established their municipal administration on several cities,
the latter without Chinese consent.
The powers (and the United States) might have their own courts, post offices, commercial institutions, railroads, and gunboats in what was on paper Chinese territory. However, the foreign powers and their control in some cases could have been exaggerated; the local government persistently restricted further encroachment.
The system ended after the Second World War
On September 6, 1899, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay
sent notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports
within their spheres of influence in China, as the US felt threatened by other powers' much larger spheres of influence in China and worried that it might lose access to the Chinese market should the country be partitioned.
Although treaties made after 1900 refer to this "Open Door Policy
", competition among the various powers for special concessions within China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and so forth, continued unabated,
with the US itself contradicting the policy by agreeing to recognise the Japanese sphere in the Lansing-Ishii Agreement
In 1902, Winston Churchill
gave a speech regarding the division of China by the great powers
, where he declared that "we shall have to take the Chinese in hand and regulate them," "I believe in the ultimate partition of China," and "the Aryan
stock is bound to triumph."
In 1910, the great powers, Britain, France, Germany, United States, and later, Russia and Japan, ignored the Open Door Policy to form a banking consortium, consisting of national banking groups backed by respective governments, through which all foreign loans to China were monopolised, granting the powers political influence over China and reducing economic competition between foreigners. This organisation controlled the majority of Chinese tax revenue in a "trust", and utilised a small portion to bolster the rule of Yuan Shikai
, to great effect. The renewed consortium of UK, France, Japan and US in 1920 effectively vetoed all developmental loans to China, ruling over the Chinese government by aiming to control all rails, ports and highways in China.
German and Japanese direct spheres of influence at their greatest extents in fall 1942.
- In the north, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere.
- Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its "political rearrangement"—the areas east of the Narev, Vistula, and San Rivers going to the Soviet Union, while Germany would occupy the west.
- Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed in September 1939 assigned Lithuania to the USSR.
End of World War II
From 1941 and the German attack on the Soviet Union
, the Allied Coalition
operated on the unwritten assumption that the Western Powers
and the Soviet Union
had each its own sphere of influence. The presumption of the US-British and Soviet unrestricted rights in their respective spheres began to cause difficulties as the Nazi-controlled territory shrank and the allied powers successively liberated other states.
The wartime spheres lacked a practical definition and it had never been determined if a dominant allied power was entitled to unilateral decisions only in the area of military activity, or could also force its will regarding political, social and economic future of other states. This overly informal system backfired during the late stages of the war and afterward, when it turned out that the Soviets and the Western Allies
had very different ideas concerning the administration and future development of the liberated regions and of Germany itself.
During the Cold War
, the Soviet sphere of influence
was said to include: the Baltic states
, Central Europe
, some countries in Eastern Europe
, North Korea
, and—until the Sino-Soviet split
and Tito-Stalin split
—the People's Republic of China
and the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
, among other countries at various times. Meanwhile, United States
was considered to have a sphere of influence over Western Europe
, and South Korea
, among other places.
However, the level of control exerted in these spheres varied and was not absolute. For instance, France
and the United Kingdom
were able to act independently to invade
) the Suez Canal
(they were later forced to withdraw by joint U.S. and Soviet pressure). Later, France
was also able to withdraw from the military arm of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
(NATO). Cuba, as another example, often took positions that put it at odds with its Soviet ally, including momentary alliances with China, economic reorganizations, and providing support for insurgencies in Africa and the Americas without prior approval from the Soviet Union.
Contemporary Russia (1990s–present)
Other ENP countries (all but Libya are UfM
In 1997, NATO
and Russia signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security
, stating the "aim of creating in Europe a common space of security and stability, without dividing lines or spheres of influence limiting the sovereignty of any state."
In 2009, Russia asserted that the European Union
desires a sphere of influence and that the Eastern Partnership
is "an attempt to extend" it.
In March that year, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt
stated that the "Eastern Partnership is not about spheres of influence. The difference is that these countries themselves opted to join."
Following the 2008 Russo-Georgian War
, Václav Havel
and other former central and eastern European leaders signed an open letter stating that Russia had "violated the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act
, the Charter of Paris
... all in the name of defending a sphere of influence on its borders."
In April 2014, NATO stated that, contrary to the Founding Act
Russia now appears to be attempting to recreate a sphere of influence by seizing a part of Ukraine, maintaining large numbers of forces on its borders, and demanding, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
recently stated, that "Ukraine cannot be part of any bloc."
Criticising Russia in November 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said that "old thinking about spheres of influence, which runs roughshod over international law" put the "entire European peace order into question."
In January 2017, British Prime Minister Theresa May
said, "We should not jeopardise the freedoms that President Reagan and Mrs Thatcher brought to Eastern Europe by accepting President Putin's claim that it is now in his sphere of influence."
In corporate terms, the sphere of influence of a business, organization, or group can show its power and influence in the decisions of other businesses/organizations/groups. The influence shows in several ways, such as in size, frequency of visits, etc. In most cases, a company described as "bigger" has a larger sphere of influence.
For example, the software company Microsoft
has a large sphere of influence
in the market of operating systems
; any entity wishing to sell a software product may weigh up compatibility with Microsoft's products as part of a marketing plan.
In another example, retailers wishing to make the most profits must ensure they open their stores in the correct location. This is also true for shopping centers that, to reap the most profits, must be able to attract customers to their vicinity.
There is no defined scale measuring such spheres of influence. However, one can evaluate the spheres of influence of two shopping centers by seeing how far people are prepared to travel to each shopping center, how much time they spend in its vicinity, how often they visit, the order of goods available, etc.
Corporations have significant influence on the regulations and regulators that monitor them. During the Gilded Age
in the United States, corruption was rampant as business leaders spent significant amounts of money ensuring that government did not regulate their activities.Wall Street
spent a record $2 billion trying to influence the 2016 United States elections
List of spheres of influence
For historical and current examples of significant battles over spheres of influence see:
- ^ "Monroe Doctrine, 1823". Office of the Historian. United States Department of State. April 6, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- ^ Morison, S.E. (February 1924). "The Origins of the Monroe Doctrine". Economica. doi:10.2307/2547870. JSTOR 2547870.
- ^ New Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (15th ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. p. 269. ISBN 1-59339-292-3.
- ^ Gramer, Robbie. "Tillerson Praises Monroe Doctrine, Warns Latin America of 'Imperial' Chinese Ambitions". Foreign Policy. The Slate Group.
- ^ Declaration between the United Kingdom and France concerning Siam, Madagascar, and the New Hebrides . Governments of Great Britain and the French Republic. 1904 – via Wikisource.
- ^ British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914, Volume IV, The Anglo-Russian Rapprochement 1903-7. Edited by G.P. Gooch and H Temperley. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1929. p618-621. Appendix IV - Revised Draft of Agreement Concerning Persia, Sent to Sir A. Nicholson by Sir Edward Grey on June 6, 1907
- ^ Yale Law School: "Agreement concerning Persia" (in English)
- ^ Kwang-ching Liu; John Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China Volume 11 Late Ch'ing 1800-1911 Part 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 113. ISBN 0521220297.
- ^ Kwang-ching Liu; John Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China Volume 11 Late Ch'ing 1800-1911 Part 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 274. ISBN 0521220297.
- ^ Jeans, Roger B. (1997). Democracy and Socialism in Republican China: The Politics of Zhang Junmai (Carsun Chang), 1906-1941. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 28. ISBN 0847687074.
- ^ a b Dallin, David J. (2013). "2 The Second Drive to the Pacific, Section Port Arthur". The Rise Of Russia In Asia. Read Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1473382572.
- ^ Paine, S. C. M. (1996). "Chinese Diplomacy in Disarray: The Treaty of Livadia". Imperial Rivals: China, Russia, and Their Disputed Frontier. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 162. ISBN 9781563247248. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
- ^ a b c d Lo Jiu-Hwa, Upshur (2008). Encyclopedia of World History, Ackerman-Schroeder-Terry-Hwa Lo, 2008: Encyclopedia of World History Volume 7 of Encyclopedia of World History. Fact on File Publishing, Inc Bukupedia. pp. 87–88.
- ^ Wu Yuzhang (2001). Recollections of the Revolution of 1911: A Great Democratic Revolution of China. The Minerva Group, Inc. p. 39. ISBN 089875531X.
- ^ Convention Between Great Britain and Tibet (1904)
- ^ Shan, Patrick Fuliang (2003). The Development of the North Manchuria Frontier, 1900-1931. Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University. p. 13.
- ^ Shan, Patrick Fuliang (2016). Taming China's Wilderness: Immigration, Settlement and the Shaping of the Heilongjiang Frontier, 1900-1931. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 978-1317046844.
- ^ Patrick Fuliang Shan, “What was the ‘Sphere of Influence’? A Study of Chinese Resistance to the Russian Empire in North Manchuria, 1900-1917,” The Chinese Historical Review, (Fall 2006, vol. 13, no. 2), pp.271-291.
- ^ "Secretary of State John Hay and the Open Door in China, 1899–1900". Milestones: 1899–1913. Office of the Historian, US Department of State. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- ^ Sugita, Yoneyuki, "The Rise of an American Principle in China: A Reinterpretation of the First Open Door Notes toward China" in Richard J. Jensen, Jon Thares Davidann, and Yoneyuki Sugita, eds. Trans-Pacific relations: America, Europe, and Asia in the twentieth century (Greenwood, 2003) pp 3–20 online
- ^ Tuchman, Barbara (2001). Stillwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945. Grove Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-8021-3852-7.
- ^ Speech and interview at the University of Michigan, 1902.
- ^ Werner Levi (1953). Modern China's Foreign Policy. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 123–132. ISBN 081665817X.
- ^ B. J. C. McKercher (1991). Anglo-American Relations in the 1920s: The Struggle for Supremacy. Springer. p. 166. ISBN 1349119199.
- ^ a b c d Text of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, executed August 23, 1939
- ^ Christie, Kenneth, Historical Injustice and Democratic Transition in Eastern Asia and Northern Europe: Ghosts at the Table of Democracy, RoutledgeCurzon, 2002, ISBN 0-7007-1599-1
- ^ Brackman, Roman, The Secret File of Joseph Stalin: A Hidden Life (2001) p. 341
- ^ Etkind, Alexander; Finnin, Rory; Blacker, Uilleam; Julie Fedor; Simon Lewis; Maria Mälksoo; Matilda Mroz (2013). Remembering Katyn. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-7456-6296-1.
- ^ a b Norman Davies, Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory, pp. 172-174. Penguin Books, New York 2006, ISBN 978-0-14-311409-3
- ^ Speck, Ulrich (9 December 2014). "The EU Must Prepare for a Cold Peace With Russia". Carnegie Europe.
- ^ "Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation signed in Paris, France". NATO. 27 May 1997.
- ^ a b Pop, Valentina (21 March 2009). "EU expanding its 'sphere of influence,' Russia says". EUObserver.
Valdas Adamkus, Martin Bútora, Emil Constantinescu, Pavol Demeš, Luboš Dobrovský, Mátyás Eörsi, István Gyarmati, Václav Havel, Rastislav Káčer, Sandra Kalniete, Karel Schwarzenberg, Michal Kováč, Ivan Krastev, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Mart Laar, Kadri Liik, János Martonyi, Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Alexandr Vondra, Lech Wałęsa (15 July 2009). "An Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe". Gazeta Wyborcza.
- ^ "Russia's accusations - setting the record straight, Fact Sheet - April 2014". NATO. 12 May 2014.
- ^ Rettman, Andrew (17 November 2014). "Merkel: Russia cannot veto EU expansion". EUobserver.
- ^ "FULL TEXT: Theresa May's speech to the Republican 'Congress of Tomorrow' conference". Business Insider. 26 January 2017. Archived from the original on 27 January 2017.
- ^ Tindall, George Brown; Shi, David E. (2012). America: A Narrative History. 2 (Brief Ninth ed.). W. W. Norton. p. 578.
- ^ "Wall Street spends record $2bn on US election lobbying". Financial Times. March 8, 2017.
- ^ "Wall Street Spent $2 Billion Trying to Influence the 2016 Election". Fortune. March 8, 2017.
- Ferguson, Iain, and Susanna Hast. 2018. "Introduction: The Return of Spheres of Influence? [PDF]" Geopolitics 23(2):277-84. doi:10.1080/14650045.2018.1461335.
- Hast, Susanna. 2016. Spheres of Influence in International Relations: History, Theory and Politics. Milton Park ,UK: Routledge.
- Icenhower, Brian. 2018. "SOI: Building a Real Estate Agent's Sphere of Influence." CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- White, Craig Howard. 1992. Sphere of Influence, Star of Empire: American Renaissance Cosmos, Vol. 1. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Last edited on 16 April 2021, at 11:15
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