By the end of the 19th century, changes were occurring around the world. Germany was emerging as the European industrial leader, building new factories and expanding its trade position. The United States was also exceptionally successful in expanding the country geographically and industrially, evolving as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Across the globe, economies became interrelated as trade and integrated investments spread spurred by imperialism. Although Britain controlled the oceans and colonized multiple regions, its power began to ebb by the end of the century. Other European countries wanted natural resources like diamonds, gold, or oil and started establishing their ports and colonies in Asia and Africa, creating a competitive environment; when one state developed a settlement, another state established a small colony to lessen domination.
Interdependence across the continents grew from inventive transportation and communication systems and integrated trade policies. Inequities in different countries between the powerful and those controlled were based on armaments and military dominance, the railroad systems, medical advances, and raw industrial power. At the end of the century, the new international order in the world defined the primary status for the contemporary world of the 20th century.