I agree with Stumpfoot about the speed in which we have gained prominence.
Phid, I think your first post was sufficient.
I do believe that in a short period of time, we have influenced and affected the world in many positive ways. The difference with the U.S. and Britain or France at the height of their power, is that those two were arrogant in their imperialistic ambitions. I'm thinking here how they treated Africans and Indians during their colonial conquests and the whole social Darwinism way of thinking they were guilty of. We are not like that. We're liked around the world because we have been better at accepting other cultures and religions and improving, not changing, ways of life. We have also learned much of our current COIN warfare from the Brits, but I think we have learned from the mistakes they've made and improved on them.
I think it's fair to compare us to the Romans. I also think we "fixed" the things they did incorrectly. Contrary to some people's opinions, the prominence of the United States isn't going anywhere soon. Many have said, and I agree, that involvement in the Middle East has been the downfall of many nations and empires. I don't think that's going to happen to us. We'll just have to wait and see, but we already see many improvements in relations and governments in that area of the world.
This is of course just my opinion, but there have been many pro-American leaders elected in Europe and Asia recently. And Africa is amazingly pro-American because of what we've done for them. Why is this occurring if we're, allegedly, so hated? I just read an excellent article about this, unfortunately I can't seem to locate it.