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Great powers

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Harburs View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 01:04
In history we have had great empires such as
Achaemenid
Macedonian
Roman
Egyptian
Assyrian
Song
Sassanid
Heptalit
Hunic
Tang
Han
Ming
Japanese
German
Spanish
Holy Roman
Gupta
Abbasid
Umayyid
Ottoman
Seljuk
Mongol
Austro-Hungarian
Russian
Polish-Lituanian
British
French
etc
and we have or had great powers such as US, Soviet Union and China.

What are the main components of a powerful state or empire that makes it so strong?
Powerful economy and wealth,
Powerful industrial planets
Powerful military
Huge workforce
Strong government
Great educational system
Democracy and freedom or any kind of technical or ideological method that brings citizens together to support the state.
Or a common Identity such as race or ethnicity?

What is your opinion? What does a country need to become a great power?



Edited by Harburs - 24 Aug 2011 at 01:07
"Turn yourself not away from three best things: Good Thought, Good Word, and Good Deed" Zoroaster.
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Akolouthos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 01:30
I think I might clarify and separate a few of the points, but you've essentially nailed it. That said, one caveat would be that it may be possible for a "Great Power" to rise while several of the factors are absent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 02:27
Depends really on the period and scope of influence. Czarist Russia for example was a world superpower and it had no where near the industrial resources of even Belgium during most periods of the 19th century (in 1850 for example Belgium had more steam engines than Russia as a whole despite the latter having nearly 16 times more people) yet I don't think anyone would seriously think that Belgium was ever a superpower.
 
What Russia had (before industrialisation began in earnst from around 1860 onwards) was a massive loyal population willing plunge into death for Czar and church. This made everyone scared of her because they can go to war and suffer horrendous casualties and still find a massive amount of volunteers willing to give their lives away.
 
For the rest of the "superpowers" it was a combination of a relatively large population, mass industrialisation/commercialisation and good luck (that is entering early into the world stage). Holland had the good luck back when it was an empire but lacked the population to keep its empire. Britain had all three (while it had only 1/3rd of France's population in 1800, it exceeded France in 1900) and even more and thus was able to exert far more influence than it really had.
 
As world dynamics changed these criteria remained basically what define world powers.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 03:08
Again the same mistake. No great power from the New World? What about Incas? Aztecs? Mayans? the colonial empires in the Americas? The United States? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 09:35
This is a general topic so it can be in any period. the explanation is more appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 10:23
Quote
What are the main components of a powerful state or empire that makes it so strong?


I will tell you the key points I believe are important with order of importance:

- Proper handling of ethnic groups
Expect constant uprisings and rebellions if this is not achieved. Keep the cultural sphere but create a common citizenship (e.g Rome, Hatti).
- Strong government
Should inspire and give trust to its people. This would be good for difficult situations where peoples trust towards the government would keep them in line towards a solution.
- Good economy
Good economy = less problems. Achieved mainly through trade and self-sufficiency.
- Education
Education will bring innovation and mechanisms within the fields mentioned above.
- Military
Important to keep away your enemies, but not no1. If military becomes your no1 it will suck from your economy, it will create more enemies, it will tire your empires population.

Maybe I am expressing a hybrid between Rome and Egypt, flavored with some Hellenistic spice? Not sure, maybe.


Edited by Flipper - 24 Aug 2011 at 10:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 15:10
Military is necessary for staying safe otherwise you may need a great power to protect you just like Japan or Taiwan (a better example).

Edited by Harburs - 24 Aug 2011 at 15:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 05:20
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

 
- Good economy
Good economy = less problems. Achieved mainly through trade and self-sufficiency.
- Military
Important to keep away your enemies, but not no1. If military becomes your no1 it will suck from your economy, it will create more enemies, it will tire your empires population.

 
 
Russia has never obtained wealth. However, it has always had a powerful military. Russia has always been a regional power and at times a global one, but always has been a poor country with a powerful military. Her military has created her allies, as they nominate Russia to be their protector. 
 
The worst position for a country to be in is being wealthy with a small military. That is what creates enemies.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erkut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 10:50
How about Asabiya (Collective activity). An ideology (it doesn't matter what is that) which unites peopels for one purpose makes a state powerfull in any aspect (military, economy....)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 02:51
Originally posted by erkut erkut wrote:

How about Asabiya (Collective activity). An ideology (it doesn't matter what is that) which unites peopels for one purpose makes a state powerfull in any aspect (military, economy....)
 
 
Which is any ideology that has ever existed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 10:19
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

Originally posted by erkut erkut wrote:

How about Asabiya (Collective activity). An ideology (it doesn't matter what is that) which unites peopels for one purpose makes a state powerfull in any aspect (military, economy....)
 
 
Which is any ideology that has ever existed.
I think you'd have trouble justifying that. For instance what state did Epicureanism make powerful?
 
I took erkut's point to be that what the ideology is is immaterial, though I'd agree that Quakerism for instance is unlikely to make a state militarily powerful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erkut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 11:00
I mean any thing provides mass mobilisation... Quakerism, Socialism, Nationalism, İslam, Christianity, even almighty flying spagetti monsterBig smile it doesn't matter, anything makes peopel belive in same cause would be OK. If there is asabiya among the peopels, their devotion will make the state powerfull. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 11:05
That extends the meaning of 'powerful' a little from the normal. I'm happy doing that though: I agree with you.
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