Category: Think Tank, Wages & Income

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One Response to “American Incomes Before and After the Revolution”

  1. SecondLook says:

    Standards of living for Americans during the 18th and 19th century as compared to contemporary England and Europe is a topic rarely brought up in general American history studies, either at the high school or college level. As the article notes, free American colonists were, on average wealthier than their English counterparts in the 18th century, and since the English, in turn, on average, were wealthier than their European counterparts, Americans were the most prosperous peoples from almost the beginning of this country.

    It does add a different perspective on the American Revolution. Not only did England lose a quarter of its population (yes, that is how many American colonials there were in nascent British empire), economically it stood to lose a lot more. Perhaps the compelling reason the British continued to fight after it became clear that victory was quite doubtful. It also explains more fully why the United States was so very attractive to immigrants; it wasn’t the entrepreneurial opportunities as much as the prospect of very good wages that drew people – I know, there is more than some irony in that…