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Second Global Economy in the America

Second Global Economy in the Americas Free Essay


The United States holds the position of a global economic giant that beats many countries in terms of economic development. To become such a significant participant of the world’s economic processes, the US had come a long way and experienced a lot of obstacles. Long before its independence, the country was a British colony while other European countries conquered the remaining parts of Americas. By the time, slavery was at its peak and was actively used in the sugar production, especially in the southern America. Thus, it led to the need for slaves in order to provide labor in the sugar plantations, which created the first global economy. The society by then was not modernized as the majority of people lived in an agricultural setting dominated by the aristocrats while the rest were laborers. However, there came an emergence of cotton farming that laid the necessity for industrialization which led to modernization and increased scientific developments. Therefore, that marked the emersion of the second global economy. Despite the need for cotton necessitated the perpetuation of slavery, later industrialization resulted in the abolition of the vice. Therefore, this essay seeks to examine how the second global economy came together in the Americas.

The Industrial Revolution

The process itself started with the introduction of the cotton industry. To begin with, Britain began planting cotton before the United States and, by 1770, cotton manufacturing accounted for 2.6% of value added to the economy. With time, the figure rose to 17% and then 22.4% in 1801 and 1804 respectively. By 1780, Britain never received any cotton imports from the United States, but the industrial revolution led to the inclusion of cotton in the US exports, and its part in overall number of exportation counted 2.2%. Consequently, by 1820 the figure rose to 32%. Also, by 1820, the Americans invented a gin, which, therefore, led to high demand for cotton supply. Thus, the Americans sent approximately 250,000 slaves to the cotton farms. After the closure of the international slave trade, the domestic one counted about one million slaves sent to the south to work on cotton farms. By 1830, one out of thirteen Americans grew cotton, and the majority of the laborers were slaves. Due to the increased demand for cotton, the United States started to annex other territories to obtain greater growing possibilities, and by 1850 Americans rose 67% of the overall product amount on the land that was not part of the United States fifty years ago.

The War that Promoted the Establishment of the Second Global Economy

The second global economy did not emerge in a peaceful manner as the Americans had to fight against the British colonial masters who sought to exploit their resources. In the battle of the Americans against the Britons the latter lost a war over the New World’s territory, which signified a loss of their trade in that area as it fell in the hands of colonists. Also, there was a battle against slavery and slave trade that brought discord between the northern and the southern states. The reason is, the North wanted to abolish the vice while the South wanted to retain the trend for their agricultural interests. The disagreement dragged America into the Civil War as the southern part wanted to secede and form the Confederate States while the North wanted to emancipate the slaves and keep all states united. The North, however, defeated the South, and this marked the end of slavery and the slave trade in the United States. The development of a professional modern army led to the defeat of the aristocrats and, thus, brought slavery to an end. Furthermore, the United States also took advantage of the instabilities in Mexico. By that time, Mexico had a population that consisted of 60% of Indians who wanted a revolution against the wishes of the Whites minority. On the other hand, the Whites in the United States wanted to alienate the Indians of their land, and, thus, they conquered the Mexican part of Texas and other states to expand the cotton growing areas. The slaveholders were determined to expand the United States’ territory in order to increase their overall influence and, therefore, chances to win the presidential race. Consequently, that led to the war between the States and Mexico, which resulted in the annexing of almost a half of the Mexican territory. By 1800, the Gross Domestic Product was almost equal to that of Britain, which was a result of a significant growth in the production of cotton. The war thus prepared the ground for the transition to the United States from an agricultural economy to an industrialized and commercialized country.

The Progress in the Energy Sector

The improvements in the United States’ energy sector also influenced the growth of the second economy. In the first economy those factors were predominantly sugar production in farms run by slaves, wind power, and forced labor were the only sources of energy as the wind was highly used to sail ships in the sea. The industrial revolution, however, introduced the use of coal that propelled steam engines up to 1000 horsepower. The use of steam also became the main moving force of boats and railway carriages as well as the steam powered factories. Consequently, the increased mechanization lowered the need for slaves as machines could execute work faster and, thus, enable the captives to obtain freedom to engage in productive work for their own benefit.

Increased Urbanization

It is important to mention that urbanization had an impact on the second global economy as well as it contributed to the erosion of slavery and slave trade that had thrived in the countryside. Also, the rapid population expansion made the aristocrats lose control over food production and, additionally, facilitated the establishment of a market economy in the rural areas. Coal mining also led to the creation of “coal cities” that eased the breakdown of the aristocrats’ dominance in the countryside. Furthermore, the rapid industrialization led to the improvement in technology, making coal the primary source of energy by that time. The development attracted huge numbers of immigrants which reached 4.5 million between 1840 and 1860. The expansion of cotton growing and textile industry led to the establishment of economic hubs such as the New York or Philadelphia, which resulted in the increase of trade and boosted Gross Domestic Product. Urbanization, therefore, contributed to the reduction of slavery and the reliance on the agricultural economy.

The Assertiveness and Awareness of Rights

Assertiveness was also one of the most important factors of the economic progress as it resulted in coercion that was the hallmark of the first economy. The development of the United States resulted in eradication of the mystified elites who formerly had the power to do anything while the regular people were disregarded. The peasants received the right to vote, freedom of education, as well as employment. Consequently, that turned them from slaves and laborers into consumers and producers. The development of patents facilitated processes of inventing and receiving rights regarding scientists’ innovations hence contributing towards country’s growth. Moreover, bankers began to offer loans to the inventors as opposed to the aristocrats and everybody obtained the possibility to pursue new opportunities. Women also received a chance to emancipate themselves as they gained rights equal to those of men. The nuclear family became the center of the society, freeing people from the restrictions imposed by their traditional culture. Regarding the above, assertiveness significantly contributed to the rise of the second economy as it gave people the possibility to use their potential.

Scientific Development and the Advanced Organization of People

The industrial revolution led to the increase in scientific improvements such as extra-terrestrial observation and energy conversion among others. Scientists invented a range of appliances such as phone, bulb, typewriter, and recorder which made the United States the biggest global economy by 1867. The invention of an internal combustion engine and drilling of oil began in the 1860s. The development of bureaucracies resulted in a greater organization of people for a common goal and facilitated specialization in various professions. The scientific inventions, therefore, promoted economic growth while administrations led to specialization and diversification of the economy.


In conclusion, the development of a second global economy meant the transition from agricultural to a market economy that acknowledged the rights of everyone and liberalized trade hence promoting competition and innovation. Although there were several obstacles, the US managed to produce one of the most powerful trading systems within a relatively short period of time. Factors such as industrial revolution, war, developments in the energy sector, urbanization, assertiveness, awareness of rights, and scientific development supported the development and economic growth of the nation.

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