GLOBAL DOMINANCE OF SUPERPOWER A superpower is traditionally considered to be one step higher than a great power.

A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests. The concept of a superpower was a product of the Cold War and the nuclear age. The term superpower was used to describe nations with greater than great power status as early as 1944, but only gained its specific meaning with regard to the United States, the British Empire and the Soviet Union after WWII. This was because the United States and the Soviet Union had proved themselves to be capable of casting great influence in global politics. The basic components of superpower stature may be measured along four axes of power: military, economic, political, and cultural. Using these dimensions, arguably, Britain was the prototype superpower in the nineteenth century. Britain¶s industrial revolution preceded other European states by several decades, giving London superior economic, military, and political power that allowed Britain to reign as the international order¶s hegemon from 1815 until the early twentieth century. The United States succeeded Britain as the world¶s second superpower as an immediate consequence of World War II and the devastation of all of the other great powers of the prewar period. America¶s global economic strength reflected its longstanding prominence in maritime commerce and especially the maturation of its enormous industrial capacity over several decades after take-off following the Civil War.