Using named examples, assess the relative importance of economic, military and cultural factors in influencing superpower status.
Britain formed an empire by claiming colonies and expanding their global coverage through territories which were taken over by their military. England established overseas possessions and trading posts between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. This colonisation allowed the nation to benefit economically from resources and trade opportunities in locations such as India. The empire was the greatest in history, establishing Britain as the most powerful world superpower at the time. At its peak, the British Empire covered over 33,700,000 km2 (nearly one quarter of the Earth’s land) and held one fifth of the world’s population (approximately 458 million people). Due to its complete world dominance, British politics, law, language and culture were widespread and continue to hold a strong legacy today. For example, English is an official language in India and Cameroon. Countries such as Australia and Canada are also still part of the Commonwealth, headed by Queen Elizabeth. An economic factor, the Industrial Revolution, contributed greatly to Britain’s economic success, along with its ability to easily trade globally. They also had the world’s greatest military force, meaning they were able to impose their rule over places such as South Africa and Gambia. This factor was essential to the expansion of the British Empire and the making of Britain as a superpower. The USA is an example of a nation which has attained world dominance, gaining power in relatively recent history through the means of economic, cultural and military factors. The country is the only current world superpower, with an unmatched influence on the world. For example, its president, Barack Obama is named by Forbes as the most powerful person on Earth. As of 2011, the United Nations listed the United States’ economy as the most valuable with a GDP of 14,991,300....
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