The term “superpowers” is used to describe countries that have a dominant position that influences much of the globe. In 1944, the term superpower was coined to distinguish countries that had more than normal power to influence world affairs in politics, economics and military matters. Lyman Miller defined the superpower as a country that had advantage in the four axes of power. These are military, economic, political and cultural. Professor June Dreyer adds that a superpower should be able to use its power peacefully and in war on a global scale. While Professor Paul Dukes states that a superpower has command of the world as necessary, it has enormous economic potential and influence and carries a certain degree of universal ideology.
In the last millennia, many nations had the ability to influence other nations with their military power, but it took years to organize campaigns that today would require only a week or a month. These ancient superpowers did not hesitate to wage war with countries whose natural resources have been longed for. These empires assumed kingdoms and other empires and became empires themselves. Main examples are ancient Egypt, the Hittite empire, the Persian empire, the Hellenistic empire of Alexander the Great, the Roman empire, the Maurya empire, the Tang empire, the Umayyad caliphate, the Mongol empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish Empire, and the first French empire of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Realignment of Global Influences Post-World War 2
The super-powerful nations of the modern era after World War 2 were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These three countries exercised the influence of the world on many crucial issues that included the geopolitical, military and socio-economic significance. But after the Second World War, the United Kingdom lost much of its status as a world power because of its military expenditures that greatly affected its economy. The remaining two superpowers fought in the Cold War which followed each trying to subvert each other ideologically, politically, militarily and economically. The rivalry led to two military alliances, the Warsaw Pact and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),
The end of the Soviet era
In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union was dissolved and Russia was again a sovereign state. The dissolution of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War. As a result, many of the former republics that formed the Soviet Union joined the European Union and NATO. Some former republics joined the Russian Federation while others formed their trade unions for economic and security cooperation. The United States retained superpower status and still hold that title today. In recent decades, Russia has begun a military accumulation that continues today to return to its previous status as a world power. The Chechen and Ukrainian regions could also have been the catalys.