USA Economy Essay Example
The United States has the largest leading economy in the world. The country’s GDP is 19.39 trillion which is 7.38 trillion more than China, who has the second largest GDP. Since the first Europeans came to America, they have found a way to increase the economic development. Physical geography is one way that led America to have the largest economy in the world. The physical geography of the United States has positively affected the country’s economic development because of greater access to water for trade and transportation, has an abundance of natural resources, and landmass accommodates growing land and new technologies.
One example of how the physical geography has positively affected the economic development of the United States is the access to water for trade and transportation purposes. Rivers and ports for instance, have played a great role in country’s economic development. Walter LaFeber stated that, “With access to the Mississippi only from the east, the hundreds of thousands Americans settled along the river depended on it and on the port of New Orleans for access to both world markets and imported staple for everyday living.” Starting in the 1790s, Americans depended on the rivers and ports to receive goods. The Mississippi river, along with other rivers, gave the people living along the river easy access to the items and food needed for everyday use.
Ports were also an easy way to import resources from other countries that are not as abundant in the United States.In In the article, The Jacksonian Era, the author wrote “ They saw the channels of many rivers widened and deepened...They witnessed a transportation revolution…”Between the years of 1800 and 1850, Americans witnessed a humongous change in transportation. The rivers, canals, and other waterways made it easier to get to other parts of the country quicker, about 3 times faster than before. Quicker transportation made it easier for people to move and settle into new towns, eventually finding new jobs and opportunities. The faster transporting also meant goods could be transported quicker and businesses could make more money.
Waterways are not the only factor contributing to the economic development of the United States. America has an abundance of natural resources that helped advance the economy. According to document 5, the image shows the dispersal and great amounts of natural resources throughout the country. Resources shown in the illustration include, timber, gold, silver, and oil. The abundance of these resources have improved the economic development in America because, the resources are able to be traded with other countries, but most importantly can be used as fuel, build structures, and create items for everyday use. In document 9 Robert J. Samuelson writes, “Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for nearly 30 percent of the U.S. total. Natural-gas production is roughly 20 percent. About 60 percent of the nation’s oil imports arrive at Gulf ports.”The amount of resources found along the Gulf Coast accounts for the majority of the oil and gas production in the U.S. When hurricane Katrina hit the coast and destroyed the oil refineries the U.S. and world economies were severely hurt. This shows that the natural resources contribute greatly to the country’s economic development.
The land the Americans acquired, like the Louisiana Purchase, helped grow the size of America.This amount of land is able accommodate land for farming and stretch new technologies across the country. In Document 2 it states, “If [Louisiana Territory] annexed, these 825,000 square miles would give the new nation access to one of the world’s potentially richest trading areas.” The land from the Louisiana Purchase gave Americans access to 825,000 miles of rich soil and farming areas.
The ability to have substantial amount of land, lets companies grow their businesses and produce goods for consumers. Selling and producing goods produces money, growing the economy. Glyndon G.Van Deusen wrote in Document 4a, “They saw the oxcart, the stagecoach, the clumsy flatboat, ark and scow, give way to the steamboat and to railroads run by steam power” As the country expanded new technologies were invented that stretched across the country and made it quicker for people to travel and transport goods. These technologies helped build towns and cities, that would later be economic hubs.
It is no surprise that the United States has the largest economy in the world. Over the past 200 years, Americans have worked to better grow the economy. One factors that contributed is the physical geography. The physical geography of the United States has positively affected the country’s economic development because of greater access to water for trade and transportation, has an abundance of natural resources, and landmass accommodates growing land and new technologies.