When you think about the worlds superpowers, you probably think of countries like the United States and China. And that’s for a good reason, as these are ‘currently’ the two largest and most important economies in the world.
But that might not be for much longer. Because over the last 5 years, a handful of other lesser known countries, have quietly been working on world-changing projects in the background...that could catapult them to being the top economic superpower of the world.
During the 1700’s, the two largest economies in the world were that of China, and India. In fact, over half of the world economic output during this time, came from these two countries. And this was largely because the world economy at the time was still largely based around agriculture and raw resources...Which China and India were the dominant world players.
But then something changed. You see, as China and india continued to focus upon their wealthy agricultural economy...a small island country, called Great Britain, was innovating, and trying to create new technologies that could help the country prosper...not just for the next few years, but for the next century to come.
For example, China and India were the largest cotton manufacturers in the world in the 1700’s, But after great britain invented machine powered textiles factories, the productivity of one textile worker in Great britain became 500 times greater than a worker in China or India. Essentially, this one invention in great britain made a large portion of China and india’s economy, obsolete overnight.
And great britain didn’t stop their. They also invented the steam engine in the 1700’s, which was revolutionary for increasing productivity, building an advanced military, and helping invent new advanced machines.
Great britain also invented many other things during this time such as a significantly more efficient way to make metals, machine tools, large scale chemical production, and yes even very advanced agricultural tools.
Essentially, Great Britain, had used technological innovation to become the worlds one true superpower by the 1800’s. And because of their advances in technology during this time, Great Britain was pretty much able to do whatever they wanted...as their military technology was so advanced, that they ended conquering many regions around the world, on way to becoming the largest empire in history.
Now...the industrial revolution was the largest reason why Great Britain was able to build the largest empire the world has ever seen.
But to the surprise of many, that was not the only industrial revolution that would knock off the worlds top superpowers from their throne.
You see, the first industrial revolution was known for producing steam power and small machine tools.
But a second industrial revolution occurred between 1870 and 1914. And during this time, The unites states began rapidly adopting new technologies such as electricity, railroads, the telegraph, telephone, mass production of steel, petroleum,the combustion engine, and much more. And because the united states adopted these new technologies first, they had an early surge in productivity, and surpassed Great Britain as the worlds top economic superpower.
In fact, by 1900, the western world had become so much more technologically advanced than the rest of the world, that much smaller countries like Germany and France, had reached the same economic levels as the superpowers from 100 years earlier...which were China and India.
And this second industrial revolution, where America was the clear winner, was soon followed by the third industrial revolution. This was where we saw the invention of computers, software, automobiles, nuclear technology, and electronics.
And as you might have guessed, the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union were the 3 countries that adopted these new technologies the fastest, and made them the global superpowers for much of the 20th century.
And so...that brings us to the moment we are living in today. Whether you know it or not, we are currently going through the fourth industrial revolution. And based on the previous history of the last several industrial revolutions, whatever country invents and adopts the newest and most powerful technologies first, will likely be able to be a superpower of the world for the next 50 to 100 years.
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