Revision Notes on Superpowers

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  • Created on: 08-05-15 08:23
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What is a superpower?
A country with the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world,
sometimes in more than one region of the globe at a time.
Defined by:
· Size
­ Larger countries tend to have greater resources as well as the fact that both size
and position determine the area over which a country has the potential to
· E.G. Russia is the largest country in the world with a large reserve of
natural resources. This means powerful nations like the EU are dependent
upon them. Additionally, they have claimed the future resources that lie in
the Arctic because it is the biggest country bordering the ocean.
· Military
­ Historically has been a major influence in determining political power.
· Population
­ A large population base can help to sustain economic success by having a sufficient
labour force. It also acts as a spur to economic growth because it provides a large
· E.G. countries in the EU have access to 550 million people ­ much larger
than their individual populations
· E.G. since the 1990s, the UK has used immigration as a means of
supplementing the domestic labour force in areas with shortages such as
doctors and agricultural labour. Whereas China and India use their
populations as a source of cheap labour for TNCs to outsource to
­ HOWEVER it is not crucial to economic growth. E.G. Singapore has half the
population of London but is in controls most of South-East Asia's economy. It's low
tax and status as an Export Processing Zone(no payable tariffs or duties) attract
· Economic Power and Influence
­ Having a world top economy increases the role they play in the world. For
example, they control investment, have the world's most powerful currencies and
determine economic policies which affects the rest of the world.
­ Countries with top economy in 2007 ­ USA, Japan, China, Germany, UK, France,
Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil and India
­ Most investment is targeted in top economies because companies are more likely
to make high profits.
· E.G. in 2005 half of all global investment passed through London which
created jobs in the financial sector

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Many top economy countries have `safe currency' e.g. US$ and are part of global
organisations like the G8 or create trading blocs.
· Resources
­ Some resources are critical to economic development i.e. oil and metals. Metals
such as Iron Ore are the key to the steel industry whilst fossil fuels are energy
sources needed for the industrial process. ALTHOUGH having these does not
GUARENTEE economic development
· E.G.…read more

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The Mercantilist phase: England began the first large-scale approach to mercantilism
during the Elizabethan Era (1558­1603). This period saw various, but often disjointed efforts by
the court of Queen Elizabeth to develop a naval and merchant fleet capable of challenging the
Spanish on trade. Regulations on trade and exports were created as well as efforts to prevent
smuggling. Mercantilist policies were also embraced throughout much of the Tudor and Stuart
b.…read more

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By 1940 it was the world's largest In 1941 they had the industrial strength to
manufacturer of industrial and defeat invading Germans
consumer goods
It produced the goods and finance to Had the world's second largest economy in
help rebuild Europe after WW2 1941 ­ overtaking Britain
By 1950, the US $ was the world's Coal and iron ore mines fed steel industries
major currency - 60% of all global bank located far away from national borders and
reserves were in this currency…read more

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Their goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their
The World Bank
The World Bank is a United Nations international financial institution that provides loans to
developing countries for capital programs. The World Bank is a component of the World Bank
Group, and a member of the United Nations Development Group.
The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty.…read more


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