Niall Ferguson,

Civilization: The West and the Rest


The Industrial Revolution: How the West Eclipsed Asia

Like the French Revolution  before it, the British Industrial  Revolution spread across  Europe. But this was a peaceful  conquest. . . The first true  cotton mill, Richard  Arkwright's at Cromford in  Derbyshire, was built in 1771.  Within seven years a copy  appeared in France ... The  Americans, who had the  advantage of being able to  grow their own cotton ... were  a little slower: the first cotton  mill appeared in Bass River,  Massachusetts, in 1788.    ... In 1800 seven out of the  world's ten biggest cities had  still been Asian, and Beijing  had still exceeded London in  size. By 1900, largely as a  result of the Industrial  Revolution, only one of the  biggest was Asian; the rest  were European or American.

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When America Was Truly The Land Of Opportunity

For [early immigrants] America was truly the land of opportunity. For the first time in their lives, many were truly free to pursue their own objectives. That freedom released the human energies which created the United States. There were few government programs to turn to and nobody expected them. But also there were few rules and regulations. There were no licenses, no permits, no red tape to restrict them. They found, in fact, a free market, and most of them thrived on it. 

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