sphere of influence


sphere of influence

Definition of SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

:  a territorial area within which the political influence or the interests of one nation are held to be more or less paramount

First Known Use of SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

1885

sphere of influence

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

In international politics, a state's claim to exclusive or predominant control over a foreign area or territory. Beginning in the late 1880s, European colonial powers undertook legal agreements consisting of promises not to interfere with each other's actions in mutually recognized spheres of influence in Africa and Asia. After colonial expansion ceased, geopolitical rather than legal claims to spheres of influence became common, examples being the U.S. claim to dominance in the Western Hemisphere under the much-earlier Monroe Doctrine and the Soviet Union's expansion of its sphere of influence to eastern Europe following World War II. See also Iron Curtain.

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