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Using Figure 3 and your own knowledge, explain why the pattern of economic power has changed over time. (10 marks)
Economic power has changed dramatically over the last century. For example, the loss of colonialism around 1913 in the UK meant that global GDP had dropped 30% by 1950 for the UK. However, China’s global GDP was at 9% in 1913, probably due to the increasing trade in drugs and silk.
The USA is the only country that remains in the top 4 for the whole 100-year period. This is likely to be due to their exponentially increasing population and industrialisation, providing them with a strong economy. Although the USA’s global GDP has fluctuated throughout the period, probably due to events such as the Cold War in 1950. The USA was the dominant world power during this time, with 27% of global GDP. The 1950s was also the beginning of the USA media domination and countries aligning themselves into opposing economic power.
1998 is the post-cold war era, after the collapse of communism, this could be why Russia are not in the top 4 global GDP figures. During this time western capitalist countries dominated the world’s top GDP, due to there more advanced development and greater military power.
In 2025 the rise of India and China is evident likely due to the industrialisation of these countries and the vast technological advances that will have occurred. It is also suggested that developed countries have slipped probably because of ageing populations and overtaking dominance from countries such as China.
However, GDP is only one way to measure superpower status on a global scale. There are many more factors to consider such as military power, resources and…...

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