The Second Economy

kristy Trendspotting

By W. Brian Arthur

In 1850, a decade before the Civil War, the United States’ economy
was small—it wasn’t much bigger than Italy’s. Forty years later, it was
the largest economy in the world. What happened in between was
the railroads. They linked the east of the country to the west, and the
interior to both. They gave access to the east’s industrial goods;
they made possible economies of scale; they stimulated steel and
manufacturing—and the economy was never the same.

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