United States

The largest economy with the most powerful military ever, the United States has led the West and shaped the world over the past seven decades. Built by immigrants, the country is home to people from every nationality and ethnicity. Its popular culture beams into most living rooms around the world. Its universities are the envy of other nations. Equally, its wars, invasions and backing of coups in most parts of the world mean it is also a modern symbol of hegemony. Now, as China's economy catches up, an inward-looking America faces its sternest leadership test.

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