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See which countries have dominated the world's economy, from Jesus' time to the present

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India, the United States and China have each, at various points in history, had the largest economy on the planet. Left to right, Rajarani Temple in northeastern India, the Statue of Liberty in New York City and Jing'an Temple in Shanghai. (Images via Abhijith Rao, Julian Montes and Robert S. Donovan/flickr)

Think Rome, London and New York have been the commercial capitals of the world for most of the past 2,000 years?

Look further east.

The U.S. economically dominated the 20th century, but it seems as if that period of dominance will turn out to be an historical blip, as two enduring economic heavyweights reemerge as preeminent powers: India and China.

India, the United States and China have each, at various points in history, had the largest economy on the planet. Left to right, Rajarani Temple in northeastern India, the Statue of Liberty in New York City and Jing'an Temple in Shanghai. (Images via Abhijith Rao, Julian Montes and Robert S. Donovan/flickr) India, the United States and China have each, at various points in history, had the largest economy on the planet. Left to right, Rajarani Temple in northeastern India, the Statue of Liberty in New York City and Jing'an Temple in Shanghai. (Images via Abhijith Rao, Julian Montes and Robert S. Donovan/flickr)

China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy this year, and India, with the weight of 1.2 billion people behind its potential-laden economy, is comfortably in third place.

The Economist chronicled 20 centuries of economic change in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday.

Compared to China and India, the Roman, Byzantine, French and British empires were small potatoes — facts which we Americans might take as some comfort as the economic tides continue to change in the coming centuries.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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