A number of factors facilitate creation of a powerful country. Among these there are economic prowess, military power, energy security and the country’s international reputation. While one country could be termed powerful because of its military might, another may be called so because of its economic status despite its weaker defense, as is the case with Japan and Germany. Countries such as the U.K have continued to be in the international limelight because of its powerful allies, its language and geographical location, economic and military prowess.
The factors that made countries become so powerful in the past are very different from those that create powerful nations in the nineteenth century and even today. For instance, the authority and powerfulness of the British Empire was derived from factors such as its isolation as being an island, its military prowess and its urban wealth (Stephenson 622-624). Adding to these factors is the invention of the steam engine, as well as the discovery and introduction of the wide array of raw materials. The availability of raw materials, particularly cotton from Egypt and South America, presents one of the stepping stones to industrialization and, therefore, economic prosperity.
It should also be taken into consideration that shortly after the beginning of the industrial revolution, during Napoleon’s rule and the French revolution, Europe was embroiled in long periods of destructive and expensive wars. Additionally, the conventional military damages, which had been imposed by the blockade of the Royal Navy on continental trade, created serious limitations on the potential for industrial growth in the European contest. However, there was immense industrial growth in Britain considering that there were no such limitations. This had a positive effect on Britain since it led to strengthening of the British navy. Consequently, the strong navy and its consistent victories firmly established the British Empire over the word trade to a significant degree. These factors made Britain a leader in industrial aspects and heightened naval dominance. These subsequently helped the country play a dominant role in global affairs (Hoppit, 141-165).
In the context of America, many factors could be attributed to its growth as a powerful nation. Among these there are the presence of resources it desperately need, fertile land for agri-business and the capability to produce sophisticated weapons of war. Another key factor was the setting of the constitution which was quite helpful in checks and balances to ensure that the government is strong and runs smoothly. The Americans incorporated British model of governance where the King’s power was duly checked. For example, the president was liable by both the congress and the senate, which in turn were supposed to go by the constitution. Moreover, the state held fast to the market system that was free and in which case the markets were free within. Since the state was free of corruption, it meant that no funds were wasted; everything was utilized in a meaningful manner (Penner 219-220). This encouraged the generation of wealth, in which case the funds were utilized where they were intended. What is more, an influx of immigrants from different parts of the world facilitated growth without inflation. Geographical location also played a role in America’s growth as a superpower. To its north there was Canada and that the USA was in constant war with the French to open trade routes. To the south there was Mexico.
The location of the country as a business center drew people from different places who wished to do business in this locality. This was reinforced by the favorable weather and land, which were quite helpful in facilitating regular income. These factors led to stability, which in turn facilitated investment, wealth and subsequently power (Rosefielde 277-278).
Various factors have also placed China among the most powerful nations in the world today. Its magnificent malls, big bridges, large population, wide and sophisticated roads, and bigger cities than even those in the U.S. manifest this power. Despite the U.S having a bigger military, it has never won any war with China. China has a large number of people, large tracks of land, which it uses effectively in growing cash and food crops. This has made the country have a stronger economy than many nations. What is more, China harbors a massive and diverse economic resource which it is yet to be utilized. Among these are low cost human resources, high technology, just to name a few. Despite China not spending large amount of money on its military, it is highly ranked in defense worldwide. Its military prowess and GDP are ranked second in the world (Hsueh 32-61).
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It should as well be considered that China is a country with great market potential. Products that are made in China can be found in many parts of the world today. Chinese have proved to be superior in matters pertaining to technology, inventions and investigations. The country has for long been regarded as the strongest empire in terms of military and economical prowess which surpasses those of equally powerful nations such as the U.S, Spain, England, France and Russia (Morey 461-462). Recent data have also indicated that China has broken the world record with its fast and constant economic growth. This impeccable growth of China has raised eyebrows amongst observers and other nations on whether China has a potential of overtaking the U.S.A.
China is also viewed more positively by many people in the world than any other country in the world. For instance, the U.S engagement in wars with such countries as Syria and Iraq has caused blunders in terms of image and reputation not only on its citizens but also worldwide. Worldwide surveys on the perception of nations have established that China receives more favorable image (68%) when compared to the U.S (32%). China is already considered the first exporter and importer of goods and services worldwide and during 2013 it was the leader in global trade. In military context, the country is fast closing the gap on the U.S.A and other strong nations at a swift rate (Zhenguo and Weiqiang 460-466).
This analysis has established that there are various factors, which make a country be powerful. Among these there is the availability of resources and raw materials, which will subsequently enable a country produce goods and services for trade purposes. A country must have sufficient resources and wealth in order to create strong defense, investment in war arsenal, innovation and industrial development. These factors should be coupled with a strong and stable government, which will facilitate development and good governance and diplomatic endeavors. A robust regime and a favorable political system are also essential in controlling the economy, technology and defense as well as in accomplishing its purposes and sustaining its citizens. The land accumulation is also a vital aspect that requires to be stressed. In addition, a country’s geographical location could have a strategic advantage over other nations. This may be in terms of its global reach, matters relating to projection of power and utilization of land in mobilizing its forces.
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