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Thread: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    The answers to your question are: population, resources, a very free economy, an enterprising culture, and the fact that the majority of inventions which created the modern world happened here, and for those that weren't, we were able to capitalize on them better than anyone else.

    We were the largest economy in the world by the early 1880s.
    8.9% of the World economy in 1870, to Britain's 9.1%. Automation and the move from an agrarian economy were key.
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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    8.9% of the World economy in 1870, to Britain's 9.1%. Automation and the move from an agrarian economy were key.
    Not sure if you were trying to argue with me or not, but if you were trying, you didn't.
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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishking View Post
    The benefits of slavery are much exaggerated as most slaves didn't even go to the US and only 1.4% of the population owned slaves at it's peak. Further, the US Civil War wiped out any of that economic boon. And if we wanted to look at capital from exploitation then the UK makes the US look like children as they rapaciously colonized all over the world.

    But let's get back to how the US became dominant. One advantage is we are a fairly large country that had a lot of room to expand and develop. We also started out by a people that were huge risk takers. People who came on sail boats across a large ocean to start out new in a wild country. Then people even pushed beyond that and made their way out in dangerous environments to settle the west. I think this made a certain kind of culture in the people of the US as a good base.

    However, the biggest reason was that the rest of the developed world fought in two World Wars, to much loss of life and damage to infrastructure while the US remained basically completely untouched. When you're the only show in town it's easy to dominate.
    Would it be fair to assume that the US had a "head start" on the industrial revolution because of slavery, then?

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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Like previously mentioned, any benefit of slavery was essentially wiped clean with the civil war. The largest contributor would be the isolation from other European countries. If there had been no wars in Europe and the US was constantly at war with Canada and Mexico then the EU would be the most powerful force in the world.

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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMatters View Post
    Would it be fair to assume that the US had a "head start" on the industrial revolution because of slavery, then?
    Why do you think this?

    Industry -- automation -- began as a labor-saving invention. Why would an abundance of unpaid labor provide a "head start" for that?
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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Why do you think this?

    Industry -- automation -- began as a labor-saving invention. Why would an abundance of unpaid labor provide a "head start" for that?
    I was taught that. Im asking you a question... if it is or isnt.

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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMatters View Post
    I was taught that. Im asking you a question... if it is or isnt.
    If you were taught that, you were done a disservice. It's nonsense.
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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMatters View Post
    Im from Europe and i actually want to know few things here in how America become one of the most powerful countries in the world? I know few things but I some few questions, too if someone can help me explain it better, I will gladely appreciate it

    I know tobaccoo was not an example of mercantilism it was an example of capitalism, the British then tried to use mercantilism to profit from the success of tobacco in the colonies.

    America would NOT have been anywhere near ready to explode in the Industrial Revolution if not for a more than 200 year head start in part due to slavery. Some estimate that by 1860 slaves had a value of 3.5 BILLION dollars to the US and a big chunk of that was tobacco(and cotton).That allowed the US, in particular the South, to grow MUCH faster than it would have otherwise grown. Slavery happened all over the world and lots of nations used slavery to get ahead economically but there are very strong arguments that no country derived more economic benefit from Slavery than the US did. Tobacco btw did not die out because of the Civil War, it was already massively in decline prior to that, the end ofgrowth of tobacco started with the Revolutionary War. It was the biggest cash crop and then got replaced over time by cotton. Obviously still a very large tobacco industry in the US(unfortunately) but it was already on the decline before the Civil War.

    Saying the US economy took off after slavery was abolished is sort of like giving Trumpcredit for a stock market that was up more under his predecessor than it is under him. Things don't go from 0 to 200 in 1 second, the US economy got a more than 200 year headstart due to slavery. It's one of the things we're all aware of but don't talk about because it's frankly a terrible part of our history. What economicpolicy you think led to the US being sodominant?

    If the 200 year headstart on the industrial revolution As slavery existed all over the world, throughout history up until the late 18th century when it started to die out. Literally every super power up to then was built on slavery.

    Therefore, to say the US had an advantage in the industrial because of slavery is stupid.

    The first power to start the abolition of slavery was the UK. Which is also where the industrial revolution started, at around the same time

    how do you explain the industrial revolution starting in the UK before it started in the US? and how do you explain it happening in the north without slavery while it did not happen in the south until after the war?

    So is it true that the US became the greatest superpower in history on the backs of slavery.??

    If the South was more capitalist then how come all the commerce centers were in the North?
    It wasn't slavery that made America powerful - it was isolation.

    Do not think for one moment that I'm pooh-poohing slavery - look at my past writings when it comes to civil rights. Let's just say that most Republicans and conservatives and white nationalists would be very happy if I took a long walk off a short pier.

    Back to America. It's been said that for all practical purposes, America is an island nation. I mean, sure, we border Mexico and Canada, but there's nobody in this hemisphere that has ever been able to seriously threaten us. This enabled us to expand and to develop without having to worry about an existential threat just across the border. So we expanded - often cruelly, even to the point of what was essentially genocide - to the west coast, and began to develop everything in between without having to spend great sums of money on a large standing army. In fact, by the time WWI broke out, our army was the 17th largest in the world - even Belgium's was bigger IIRC. I strongly recommend Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History" podcast series "Blueprint for Armageddon" - it's still free, and it gives a great deal of insight (esp. in episode 5) about just how undeveloped America's military was.

    But while our military was woefully unprepared and underfunded, the relatively undisturbed stretch of peace between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of WWI allowed our peacetime sectors - especially our financial and international trade sectors - to develop beyond anyone's expectations. WWI was so incredibly brutal - several times, France, England, and Germany each lost within less than a week more casualties than we did during the entire Vietnam War - and expensive that, well, their gold reserves were quickly depleted, and so they all began borrowing from America (though Germany soon ceased to do so). Churchill pointed out how deeply in debt England (the former world financial capital) was to America in both world wars.

    So that's the reason why - we had great resources, no threats on our borders, and a half-century of mostly uninterrupted peace, whereas all the other great powers had to continually worry about major war on a moment's notice.
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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Man, you combed and cherry-picked snippets of a poorly-formed conception of history in order to reach the conclusion you were looking for, didn't you?



    This question doesn't make any sense. The South wasn't "more capitalist," and all of the "commerce centers" weren't in the North.

    I think you meant "industrial centers," not "commerce." When you figure out why the North was industrial, you'll figure out that your entire premise of this thread is wrong.

    New York and Chicago, biggest commerce centers in the US at the time, the hubs of capitalism. they are in the north. go check Wikipedia, you will see they are in the north.


    the north, was the capitalist one again.

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    Re: How did America economically become the greatest Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMatters View Post
    Im from Europe and i actually want to know few things here in how America become one of the most powerful countries in the world? I know few things but I some few questions, too if someone can help me explain it better, I will gladely appreciate it

    I know tobaccoo was not an example of mercantilism it was an example of capitalism, the British then tried to use mercantilism to profit from the success of tobacco in the colonies.

    America would NOT have been anywhere near ready to explode in the Industrial Revolution if not for a more than 200 year head start in part due to slavery. Some estimate that by 1860 slaves had a value of 3.5 BILLION dollars to the US and a big chunk of that was tobacco(and cotton).That allowed the US, in particular the South, to grow MUCH faster than it would have otherwise grown. Slavery happened all over the world and lots of nations used slavery to get ahead economically but there are very strong arguments that no country derived more economic benefit from Slavery than the US did. Tobacco btw did not die out because of the Civil War, it was already massively in decline prior to that, the end ofgrowth of tobacco started with the Revolutionary War. It was the biggest cash crop and then got replaced over time by cotton. Obviously still a very large tobacco industry in the US(unfortunately) but it was already on the decline before the Civil War.

    Saying the US economy took off after slavery was abolished is sort of like giving Trumpcredit for a stock market that was up more under his predecessor than it is under him. Things don't go from 0 to 200 in 1 second, the US economy got a more than 200 year headstart due to slavery. It's one of the things we're all aware of but don't talk about because it's frankly a terrible part of our history. What economicpolicy you think led to the US being sodominant?

    If the 200 year headstart on the industrial revolution As slavery existed all over the world, throughout history up until the late 18th century when it started to die out. Literally every super power up to then was built on slavery.

    Therefore, to say the US had an advantage in the industrial because of slavery is stupid.

    The first power to start the abolition of slavery was the UK. Which is also where the industrial revolution started, at around the same time

    how do you explain the industrial revolution starting in the UK before it started in the US? and how do you explain it happening in the north without slavery while it did not happen in the south until after the war?

    So is it true that the US became the greatest superpower in history on the backs of slavery.??

    If the South was more capitalist then how come all the commerce centers were in the North?
    If you actually care to know, I can't think of a better suggestion than Why Nations Fail.

    BLUF: Slavery is not the benefit you think it is; in fact, it is a drag to the creative destruction and innovation that is the hallmark of economic growth and industrialization. The US didn't become the greatest capitalist nation on the planet because of Slavery (West African nations featured far more slavery per capita than we did), but rather in spite of it.

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