In the 19th century the system of military states in Europe was known as the Powers. France, Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary were considered the Great Powers (large-size).

After the second world war there were only two powers with the ability to put troops anywhere on earth. These were the United States and the Soviet Union. Therefore they were called the Superpowers - those bigger than all others.

Following the end of the Soviet Union there was only one state with the ability to exert power in every region. The French have labelled this the Hyperpower. Is it the beginning of a World Empire? Will the United States inevitably behave to all the other states as an imperial power?

Can another Power arise to challenge the US? (Some say, China.) Or will the world cooperate together to solve general problems?

As the US has become financially dependent on China its hyperpower status may already have evaporated.

Last revised 26/05/10


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