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The Rise and Decline of the Great Powers and Their Relative Economic Performance

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The Rise and Decline of the Great Powers and Their Relative Economic Performance The great powers relative economic performances played a large role in determining their strength and power. Economic change in Britain, Turkey and Russia led largely to their declines between 1900 and 1919, while in the USA and Japan it led to their rise. However there were also many other factors in each country's change in power. Size of Military strength and also the army's reputation for success or failure in wars previously were very important as they determined how powerful the country would be in a time of war. Previous wars had benefited the USA, Japan and Britain but simultaneously weakened Turkey and Russia, de-stabilising their governments. Victory or defeat in wars also affected the outcome of any treaties that may have followed. These treaties were crucial factors in determining a country's power, as a poor outcome in a major treaty could destroy a country, leaving it small and weak. The impact of treaties on the powers was particularly shown by Germany's outcome of the Treaty of Versailles following World War 1. The Treaty left Germany with a small, useless military, very little money and a small empire. To be a great power, a country must have a large empire, such as that of Britain in 1900, which owned one quarter of the worlds land, and ruled one third of the worlds population, making it the worlds most influential and powerful country at the time. However, World War 1 itself was the key factor in the rise and decline of the great powers as it was the cause of the Treaty of Versailles, an... ... middle of paper ... ... that came as a result of the war, such as the Treaty of Sevres, which led to the final reduction in the Ottoman Empire, limiting Turkey to Constantinople and some surrounding areas. The Ottoman Empire collapsed as a consequence and never recovered. The war caused much of the unrest in Russia, allowing political extremism to take hold as in Germany, setting the scene for much of the conflict that was to follow in the following years. Where previous wars affected only one or two countries at a time, World War 1 had enormous impact on over 30 countries including every one of the great powers. It led to either a rise or decline in power in each of them, hence it was the greatest single cause of changes in power in the early 1900's, and set the pattern the arrangement of power that was to follow in the years succeeding it.
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