USA: A country destined for success
A citizen of any state can be proud of the originality of the development of his country. We have more than once convinced of this, considering the economic development of various countries in past eras. Even now, analyzing the history of the industrial economy, we see that not a single country has repeated, and did not aspire to, the forms of movement of other countries, even if they were territorially located in the neighborhood. Moreover, there can not be a "cloning of history" countries geographically distant from each other. It can only go about the global vector of civilizational development, but no more than that.
Russia, for example, with all its enormous efforts, has never reached the European parameters of social and economic development. Countries and peoples lived "in themselves," although many of them moved in the same direction.
A paradoxical historical construction
The US economy is one of the most paradoxical "historical constructions" era of industrial civilization. Open to the Europeans in 1492, a huge country in a historically shortest time became an advanced power. And in our time has become the leader of the industrial world.
A person who is familiar with history and economics can start thinking about the fact that the US rose from non-existence at the expense of other nations and states, that today's power of the United States is the result of exploitation of workers in many countries; some will remember the long-read words about American imperialism. And all this will be true. Other readers will express ideas about the creative genius of the American people, the heroism of ordinary Americans who have mastered the vast expanses of the West, their freedom-lovingness, democracy and patriotism. And they will be right too. As in the history of any people, here you can find paradoxical and "impossible" a combination of genius and evil.
In the XVI-XVIII centuries. in the territory of the present US, there were such historical "randomnesses" that inevitably led to a rapid advance towards an industrial civilization in the most progressive social form at that time - liberalized capitalism.
1. The most important "accident" was that America was a country full of natural resources. There really is everything. The United States is one of the few states that can develop with autarky. The states are not afraid of any economic blockade, if someone comes up with the idea to organize it.
2. North America in the XVI century. began to colonize the British - immigrants from a country in which feudalism was already underdeveloped, "outskirts", and by this time already disappearing. England was transformed into a capitalist country, and the British brought bourgeois production relations to new lands with their cult of freedom of enterprise, risk, selfishness and personal success. It is also important that among the European settlers there were many representatives of Protestant denominations. European settlers did not have to spend the energy and energy to overcome the guild system and other feudal survivals. In particular, American industry from the very beginning developed on the basis of capitalist relations. Unlike the English (and Dutch) colonies, where industry developed with minimal state participation, in the Spanish colonies of the West Indies in the first third of the 17th century, more than 400 thousand (!) decrees on governance and economy were adopted, control over prices was set, monopoly privileges were distributed. And from the outset, there was a gap in the level of industrial growth in the Americas. Naturally in favor of the liberalized North.
3. It is also important that immigrants from Europe brought with them only capital and entrepreneurial spirit. After all, most of the settlers were young, strong, confident and, as a rule, skilled workers who were cramped in old Europe. Not without difficulty moving to America, they knew that here they would not have to rely on the community, the state, or the church. They went to a known risk and hoped only for themselves.
4. The relatively high qualifications of employees and their long-lasting deficit led to a relatively high cost of hired labor. And this, in turn, contributed to scientific and technical progress, the desire of the young American industrial business to save on labor costs and replace the living labor of workers with the functioning of machinery and mechanisms.
5. America was an area with a climate favorable to agriculture. The two-hundred-year advance of the colonists to the West, the development of fertile lands in the form of family farming created a special spirit of independent commodity management in the agrarian sphere. Here, across the ocean, rushed victims of fences, people from generation to generation engaged in agricultural production. It was the availability of free lands that led to the fact that attempts to organize a feudal type on the northeastern coast of the economy were not crowned with success, although these lands formally complained to the aristocracy of the English crown.
6. As for the slave-holding South, this is one of the stunning paradoxes of US economic history.
In the turbulent era of the transition to industrial civilization on the territory of one country, the most advanced institutional forms of capitalist production and the most rabid slavery were whimsically combined.
The plantation economy of the South was based on a monocultural economy of predominantly export orientation. Tobacco, rice, indigo and, finally, the main crop - cotton - did not require high-skilled labor. Qualified workers in the industrial zones of the Northeast could not in any way become a source of labor for the South. In addition, the availability of free lands in the West, the relative ease and cheapness of their development made it difficult to attract any other labor force other than slave labor.
Back in the first half of the XVI century. the Spanish preacher Bartolomé Las Casas , clapping about the liberation from the slavery of the Indians, advises to replace them with African negroes. The call of the "philanthropist" priest was heard. For the XVI-XIX centuries. About 20 million slaves were delivered from Africa to America. At the same time, Negroes died 5-7 times more. In the XVI century. England was in the first place in the supply of slaves to America. Few people remember that America knew and "white slavery".
In the XVII-XVIII centuries. Many unskilled and beggar migrants became New World "contracted", "obliged" bonded servants, debt slaves. Over these two centuries from England to America were exported about 250 thousand "contracted servants". Temporary (up to 7 years) slaves were convicted in England and criminals. One of the most fashionable themes of American historical and economic literature is the justification of slaveholding farms, proof of their high efficiency. If we ignore the moral, ethical and political aspects of the topic, then so it was. Slavery of the South played a significant role in the growth of the wealth of the American bourgeoisie, first, and in supplying the American industry with cheap raw materials, second .
7. Since their very inception, the American colonies have actively participated in the trans-American and world trade. The colonists of North America supplied industrial products, food and wood to colonies in the West Indies, and they specialized in sugar cane, going to the North and to Europe. In the British colonies of America, ferrous metallurgy and shipbuilding developed for the needs of the metropolis and the emerging domestic market. By the XVIII century. the scheme of the "triangular trade", in which ships from the metropolis with the manufactory went to Africa, was formed from there with slaves to America and then with colonial goods to England.
There was another variant of the "triangular trade": on the islands of the West Indies, the British bought molasses, in New England they produced rum from it, went to Africa for slaves with rum, and sold slaves to the planters of the South. In the nineteenth century, before the industrial revolution, North America became the leading trading partner of major European powers, particularly France.
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