world power



We explain what a world power is, its characteristics and what were the powers throughout history to the present.

World powers compete with each other for control of a region or the world.

What is a world power?

Those who are called World Power state or nations whose economic and / or military power is such that they are capable of directly or indirectly influencing other countries or regions around it. In some cases they can influence the world organization itself.

We can speak of world powers but also regional powers (when their area of ​​influence is smaller) or superpowers (when it comes to powers that exert influence over other powers).

There have always been powers that have competed for regional or international supremacy, and in recent times, global. This does not mean, of course, that they have always been the same, but that they have followed each other throughout the history, depending on the conditions of social, political and economic organization that prevail at the time.

The world powers are usually states or associations of them that share a political-economic project. They tend to compete with other powers in various spheres, since their power allows them to influence the decisions of the countries dependent on them, or even impose certain conditions on them. International Trade, invade foreign territories, etc.

The behavior of a world power can be more or less peaceful, but generally they become hegemonies: relations of vassalage or domination over the weaker nations.

History of world powers

Genghis Khan turned the Mongol Empire into a military power.

Every epoch in human history has had its great powers, which originally competed militarily for dominance of economic and territorial resources, or for imposing their own power. culture and his religion to the others. However, as the world became more complex and interconnected, competition between them shifted to the economic and commercial level.

  • Powers of antiquity. Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome, Carthage, Egypt, Persia, India, China and in America, the Inca Empire and civilization Maya.
  • Powers of medieval. Byzantium, Persia, the Carolingian Empire, and the great Muslim caliphates in Baghdad, Córdoba, Marrakesh, among others. Also the Potific States (of the Pope) arisen in Europe, and on the other hand the Sultanate of Delhi, Imperial China, the Mongol Empire and the Ottoman Empire. In pre-Columbian America, the mighty Empire arose Aztec.
  • Powers of modern era. China and the great powers imperial Europeans: the Spanish Empire, the British Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the French Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prussia and Tsarist Russia.
  • Powers of the contemporary era. Great Britain, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the United States, the III German Reich and the Japanese Empire.

Current world powers

Today, in the 21st century, the world powers are easily identifiable. For the most part, his can is due to destructive military processes of the twentieth century or the explosion technological late that same century, which boosted regional economies to the level of world powers.

The most influential nations today are:

  • U.S
  • The European Union (especially the so-called G4: Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy)
  • Japan
  • China
  • Russia
  • Brazil
  • India

Characteristics of world powers

World powers tend to be based on two criteria:

  • Military might. Those nations possessing large and highly technologized, with first-line weapons and training and availability that allows them immediate and effective action. Military powers may have bases around the world, in allied countries, or large weapons of mass destruction, such as the atomic bombs. This is currently the case in the United States, Israel, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and recently, North Korea.
  • Economic might. It refers to the nations with robust economies, connected to the rest of the world from a dominant and hegemonic position, so that their decisions regarding internal economic policy influence the economy of other nations, thus allowing them a domain of commercial exchange, that is, allowing them to set the rules of the economic and financial game. This is the case at the beginning of the 21st century of the United States and China, faced in a bloody war commercial.

China, the new superpower

China has the enormous productive capacity of a world power.

Although the United States is the largest economic and military power since the end of the Cold War in the 20th century until the second decade of the new millennium, in recent times China has become its competitor.

Far from the agricultural and backward country that emerged under the flag communist After a Civil War in 1959, this country is today a huge factory. Its currency, the Yuan, already rivals the dollar in global importance, as it floods local markets with cheap, mass-produced goods.

In this sense, specialists warn that the US GDP reached 20.51 trillion dollars in 2018, while China has a not inconsiderable 14.09 trillion. Although the difference is still noticeable, the Asian giant tripled its economic performance over the past decade, making it a new global economic player.

In fact, despite the measures taken by the United States to tariff the products Chinese and lessen the influence of their Business (such as ZTE and Huawei), the IMF predicts a 6.3% growth in the Chinese economy, against 2.5% in the United States. We will have to wait a few more years to find out whether China will displace the United States from its place as the world's greatest power.

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