Economic history of North America

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Economichistory of North America

Economichistory of North America

Whatdo Economic Historians Do?

Economichistorians are professional academics who study specific aspects ofeconomic history. These aspects include business patterns, economicpractices, the history of the utilization of resources, capital aswell as labor. Economic historians ground the work of varioushistorical economic events using statistical and theoretical models.

Whatis a natural experiment?

Anatural experiment is a type of empirical study where individuals (orindividuals organized is clusters) are exposed to predeterminedcontrol/experimental conditions. These control conditions are mainlydetermined by nature and other factors that are not within theinvestigators’ control.

Therole of staples in Canadian economic development

InCanada, Staples played an important role in the country’s economicdevelopment. Traditionally, flour, fish, wheat, furs and timber areknown to be Canada’s staple products. The country has a relativelylow cost in the production of its staples augmented by a richresource base and technological advancement. The high external demandfor timber, wheat and flour provided Canada with a lucrativeinternational market. Moreover, the well-established transportationsystems allowed the country to exploit and export these products toNorth America and other global markets. Canada was to transform fromone staple to another depending on the changes in technology andmarket conditions. The technical characteristics of Canada’s stapleproducts lead to the development of various industries among themship building. The staples influenced the population distribution inCanada with key developments taking place in Agricultural areas,forest reserves, and fishing towns. The distributed nature of thestaples led to the balanced development in the country.Economic wellbeing in the old versusnew world

Economicwell-being in the old world involved very little statisticalmeasures. The economies were disorganized and therefore economicwellbeing was a subjective measure. The economic good of anindividual depended on the living conditions of the peers. In the oldworld, the measure of economic wellbeing was restricted to materialaspects. In the new world, economic well-being is a very broadmeasure and includes aspects beyond material possessions. Economicwelfare is determined by looking at aspects such as leisure,non-market activities, wealth, income inequality, employment andsometimes happiness indices. Moreover, the new world economicwell-being considers aspects such as education, health, theenvironment and hygiene.

Economiccauses and consequences of the revolution

Severaleconomic factors led to the American Revolution. The existing lawsled to the oppression of Americans in the British colonialarrangement, for example, the Navigation Acts placed significantrestrictions on trade. The Act provided that colonists be onlyallowed to ship products to Britain. Moreover, certain goods couldonly be exported to Britain. The laws were designed to benefit theBritish officials, shipbuilders, merchants, and manufacturers. Again,the British imposed laws allowing them to search American industriesand homes for any smuggled goods. The British introduced stringenttaxes through Acts such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act. Theselaws angered the Americans leading to the revolution. The revolutionled to the emergence of a new nation, the British lost colonialterritories. The French gained two colonial territories and led tothe introduction of the new constitution.

Freelabor versus indentured servants versus slaves

Slavelabor was mostly composed of African slaves. They were captured fromAfrica and brought to work on American farms. It was less productivesince people did not work at will the slaves faced harassment andsevere conditions at the hands of their masters. Indenturedservants, on the other hand, signed contracts with their masters.Their goal was to be provided with transportation to Virginia. Someof them were privileged enough to own land in the future. They alsosuffered harassment from their masters. Free labor, on the otherhand, results in wealth distribution and independence. People work ontheir terms and determine their earnings.

Whatdetermined the price of slaves?

Variousfactors determined the price of slaves. These included sex, location,age, their physical condition as well as the market price of theoutput. Young and energetic slaves fetched higher prices since theywere likely to work longer and become more productive. In consideringthe value of females, the traders determined their ability to bearslaves for the future. Their physical conditions also determinedtheir prices the strong and healthy slaves had higher prices. Wasslavery profitable? Was slavery efficient?

Slaverywas profitable for the dealers. However, back in Africa, communitiesand families suffered from the effects of slavery. For farm owners,slavery provided them with a cheap source of labor thus increasingtheir profit margins. However, slavery was not an efficient source oflabor. Slaves were less productive than free laborers since theyworked in protest. Free labor could be more productive than slavelabor because of the incentive at the end of work. Moreover, farmowners incurred significant costs such as food and shelter for theslaves, which could have been avoided under free labor.

Importanceof the railroad for development of the US and Canadian economies

Railroadsplayed an important role in the development of both economies. Theyincreased mobility across the two countries leading to the fastertransportation of products and enhancing trade. They lead to theinitiation of new management concepts, which brought forth largecorporations in both countries. Moreover, railroads led to thecreation of job opportunities both directly and indirectly. Theseconnections created enormous demand for goods because of the need forsteel, wood and rolling stock. They also led to the creation of hugenational markets in Canada and the US.

Wasthe railroad built ahead of demand?

Initially,the US government did not expect the railroad to be profitabletherefore, it was building ahead of demand. However, the railroadturned out to be profitable in the short-term. After the completionof the railroad, the eastern routes were linked with emerging westerncities, leading to the development of crucial trade links. This ledto the development of several through routes linking Chicago, Ohio,Baltimore and St. Louis. Impactof WWI on Canadian and US economies

TheWWI had a significant impact on the US and Canadian economies. UnlikeEurope, the factories in Canada and the US did not experience thedestruction witnessed in Europe. Production had increased in bothcountries, and technological advancement led to efficientmanufacturing. This lead to growing profits in both countries leadingto the rise of wealthy people. On the other hand, the war led toincreased inflation in both countries because of the high globaldemand. The countries also incurred high costs in the war, especiallythe US.

Changingskill patterns and inequality

Thetechnological changes in the world have led to changing skillpatterns. Individuals with impressive IT skills find employmenteasily while those without the skills find it difficult to gainemployment. Therefore, information technology skills are now themajor determinants of the skills gap, unlike in the past whereemployers required hands-on skills.

Therole of selection in migration

Selectioninfluences migration through negative and positive selection.Low-skilled migrants shift to take advantage of casual employmentopportunities in a country where few people are willing to take themup. On the other hand, skilled migrants such as doctors and engineersshift to take advantage of the vast opportunities in a countrycoupled with high pay.

Theimpact of natural disasters such as the Dust Bowl

Naturaldisasters such as Dustbowl led to the loss of lives and suffering.Moreover, these disasters lead to the loss of property hencedisrupting the livelihoods of people. In other cases, naturaldisasters lead to the destruction of infrastructural establishmentssuch as roads, bridges and electricity lines. However, thesedisasters provided a basis for establishing disaster response plansacross the country hence making emergency workers more responsive andeffective when dealing with disasters.

Whywould a state choose to emancipate its slaves gradually rather thanto emancipate them immediately?

Stateschose the gradual emancipation of slaves because they feared thatimmediate emancipationwouldlead to loss of labor for farms and industries. Therefore, thesestates opted for gradual liberation as they sought solutions to thegap left behind by slaves. Moreover, states needed to makearrangements on how to integrate the slaves in the communities sincethey were not familiar with the new way of life. Again, the statesneeded to avail legal provisions that implemented the resolution toend slavery. Therefore, these concerns lead to the gradual freeing ofslaves. The banning of slave labor also meant that large-scalefarmers had to adopt mechanized agriculture. Mechanized agricultureis capital intensive, and therefore it took time to implement. Inthis regard, the facing out of slavery had to be steady.

Whatwere the economic causes of the US Civil War and was it worth it tothe North and the South?

In1861, after decades of extreme tension between Southern and NorthernUSA, the American civil war broke out. A number of issues includingsocial, political and economic issues caused the war. It lastedbetween 1861 and 1865, leading to major battles in Gettysburg,Antietam, Vicksburg, and Chancellorsville. About 620000 soldiers losttheir lives, and millions were wounded. As the US experiencedtremendous growth during the mid-19thcentury, there existed fundamental differences between the North andthe South. The North had a thriving manufacturing sector thatbolstered the economic development in the region. Agriculture playeda minor role in the north and was only practiced on small-scale. Onthe other hand, the South had an agriculture-dependent economy.Large-scale farming was the most important economic activity and wasdependent on slave labor.

Theindustrial North intended to increase taxes on the goods that wereimported into the country. This was an important initiative for theNorth since it needed to protect its industries from competitionthrough importation. However, the South relied heavily on cheapimports to meet basic supplies since it did not have a thrivingmanufacturing sector. Therefore, by increasing the taxes, the Southhad to incur high prices for the imports while the North enjoyed theprotection offered by the tax system. Therefore, the South, saw thetaxation as an oppressive policy from the North. The taxes wouldbring further economic development to the North and subject the Southto poverty through the high cost of goods.

TheSouth relied on slave labor to service the large-scale farms.Therefore, slave labor was an important pillar of the Southerneconomy. On the other hand, the North supported banning slave laborin America. This led to antagonism between the South and the Northsince the South saw the move as an attempt to sabotage its economy.Therefore, the South decided to go to war to agitate for separationto maintain slave labor and low taxes. The economic disparitiesbetween the North and the South made the South believe that thefederal government favored the North. Moreover, the Northernerssupported the abolition of slave labor because they wanted the freedslaves to offer their services in northern industries.

Thewar was worth it for the North. The North’s victory led to theabolition of slave labor. As initially intended, the freed slaveswent to work in the Northern industries. Additionally, the Northmanaged to impose taxes on imported goods to protect theirindustries. The South lost its grievances as well as a large numberof soldiers. Nevertheless, the war served as an important milestonein addressing the economic disparities in the South, which led topolicies that spearheaded balanced development.

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