Superpower Geographies Essay

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Using figure 3 and your own knowledge, explain why the pattern of economic power has changed over time. (10) The pattern of economic power has changed over time for a number of reasons. Firstly in 1913, the British Empire had 37% of global GDP. Britain was one of the very first to be industrialized, which allowed them to trade more globally and therefore increase their GDP through exports. Also the rise of the British Empire meant that they had very much influenced the world through colonization of countries they invaded. This allowed British culture (e.g. language) to spread widely, allowing them to control the countries actions. This gave the British Empire significant political power because they had territory of much of the world's land. Also they gained economic power because the colonies which were part of the British Empire had sources of cheap raw materials, which were manufactured in Britain and sold on again, thus increasing trade, leading to increased GDP. WW1, The Great Depression of the 1930's and then WW2, all happened one after the other, and exhausted Britain financially. In 1945 Britain was still a military superpower, with a huge Army, Navy and Air Force, but Britain was financially in a disastrous state, and Britain itself badly needed rebuilding, and this was the priority. Britain decolonised over a period of around 30 years, almost always peacefully, and without any major challenges from the colonials. In the 1950's many of the former colonies became independent, which meant the British Empire was no longer a superpower. In the 1950's, in the era of the cold war, the USA had dominated to a superpower with a global GDP of 27%, with the USSR also being a superpower in its own right with 10% of the worlds GDP. The cold war raged for over 40 years between the USA and the USSR. The USA rose to a superpower in 1900 having taken over Britain as the
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