While wealth and power are usually highly correlated, with each feeding into the other positively most of the time, it is not always the case. Curious are cases where there has been substantial economic wealth, but no great power. One example of this is Flanders, the northwestern part of Belgium, currently the most densely populated part of Europe, as it has been for many centuries, although the data becomes weak and unreliable as one goes further back in time. Furthermore, it has often been an economic leader in Europe, and when not an outright leader such as in the High Middle Ages, it has always been near the top in per capita real income, not a Malthusian disaster. Yet it has never been the center of a great political power, essentially always ultimately ruled by outsiders, even though nearly always those outsiders were poorer than the Flemish.
The historian Fernand Braudel was a great student of Johan Heinrich von Thunen, author in 1826 of The 1State, in which land use patterns appeared as rings around a central place, the main market location for all that is produced on the homogeneous plane of his estate and his broader speculations. Braudel ties these economic rings to population density, and saw Flanders at the center for centuries of the Europe-wide pattern of such rings, with income falling with population density as one moved out from that central place in Flanders.
Much economic theory says that if an area can avoid a Malthusian disaster or drag, density of population can be a positive for economic growth for multiple reasons, including such things as endogenous technological change and reduced transportation costs leading to agglomeration economies. Flanders may have been one of the first parts of the Roman Empire to replace slavery with serfdom, and then it was one of the first places to move beyond serfdom. The first industrial strike in the world happened in a textile mill in Douai in 1245. Canals were being built as early as a thousand years ago around Bruges/Brugge, with the flat and wet land seeing many built since then. Bruges was one of the largest cities in Europe in the 1200s, limited at its river silted up, with textile manufacturing Ghent the third largest after Constantinople and Paris in the 1300s. World-powerful Hapsburg Holy Roman emperor, Charles V, was born in Ghent in the late1400s, but he chose to rule from other cities. While he spoke Flemish/Dutch to his mother, he is reported to have said, " I speak Spanish to God, French to men, Italian to women, and German to my horse." The latter may reflect his battling with the Protestant Reformation among Germans, which started during his reign.
Flanders and Tuscany co-led the mercantile capitalist revolution in the 1300s, and traded intensely with each other, even as they also saw a major development of art. However, neither dominated other territories, despite their high real per capita income and cultural activities, with the Renaissance coming out of Tuscany thereafter.
Then Ghent and other parts of Belgium would be the first places on the European continent to follow Britain and introduce the industrial revolutions. Per capita income in Flanders remains high today, if not at the very highest levels in Europe.
I really do not have an explanation why such a region that was for centuries a leading economic powerhouse in Europe never dominated or ruled others. One issue, which one can see in some other places such as Lower Egypt, is that its wealth attracted outsiders to conquer it to obtain its income and riches, starting with the Romans and then the Franks, who may have made the best shot at making it a conquering territory, even as they moved their capital to Paris (the Flemish language as spoken in Bruges is probably the closest thing to Old Frankish spoken anywhere now, and is viewed by linguists as the oldest form of Dutch). While there was always a Count in Flanders, he was almost always subject to somebody else, the Romans or Holy Romans and later the Burgundians with more outside Holy Romans, even when the Holy Roman came from there as in the case of Charles V.
Later on one can attribute their inability to rule themselves due to Catholic-Protestant religious conflicts and wars, with this split the key to the split between Catholic Belgium and Protestant Holland. In any case, the Spanish and then the Austrians got in to running Flanders. They have now achieved regional autonomy within modern Belgium, but they are very far from ruling anybody else, even as they remain the most densely populated part of Europe with a very high per capita income.