My readers know that I have been struggling with the history of modern commerce for a long time. I accept the founding location and time in Holland in the 1600’s with a major thrust in England in the late 1700’s due to rebellion against the hereditary elite, agriculture experimentation and steam technology.
My focus is on the way that meritocracy has been able to become a major force in society. That means that modern commerce got a great thrust from the meritocracy that grew out of the far reaches of the British Empire where powerful individuals escaped the British hereditary upper class. That also puts an important focus on the explosive population growth in the westward expansion of the American colonies.
One question that arises has to do with the control group: the 50,000+ loyalists who left the American colonies in the 1780’s and went to Canada. This is before the rise of modern commerce. The loyalists comprised close to half the total Canadian population at the time. (Reliable numbers don’t exist, these are my estimates.)
Today Canada is an almost 90% extractive economy based on lumber, mining, oil and agriculture.
The only two large modern commercial entities in Canada are Magma International that makes auto parts and has gross revenues of $32 billion, started by selling to American auto companies immediately across the border. Founded by an Hungarian immigrant in the late 1950’s. And Bombardier with $20 billion, founded during WWII, making snowmobiles (until the 1970’s).
How is it possible that this country, Canada, is right next door to the U.S., the greatest modern commercial society in the world? Magma is the 24th largest company in Canada and would be the 600th largest company in the U.S.
Where is the entrepreneurial drive in Canada?
I suspect that the strong anti-elitist anti-royalist enthusiasm of Americans and the ability to leave the Eastern hereditary elites behind, is far more important than we have understood before.