Why did the English prevail?
Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen offer a hypothesis in A Patriot’s History of the United States (2004).
… the appearance of new business practices, a culture of technological inquisitiveness, and a climate receptive to political and economic risk taking.
Schweikart and Allen, 15.
My first observation regarding this hypothesis notes the absence of the Indians that fed the colonists—Spanish, French, English, Dutch, …. Were the American indigenes irrelevant to the struggle, or unable to affect the eventual success of the English? Perhaps their absence has merit, for the English had the least auspicious record of converting the Natives to their way of life (see James Axtell, The Invasion Within —a book ignored by Schweikart and Allen, although they cite inaccurately the article length version of this book as I’ve noted previously). Be that as it may, let us, as the phenomenologists say, bracket that question while I proceed to identify the key points Schweikart and Allen offer in support of their hypothesis.
New Business Practices
The Company of the Staple, founded in 1356, was among the first joint-stock companies that led
Contrast these business practices associated with the development of capitalism to
The authors of A Patriot’s History note that
Schweikart and Allen bury their exposition of the English “culture of technological inquisitiveness” within their discussion of Europe’s generally receptive climate for “risk taking and innovation” that “reached its most advanced state in England” (15). The stirrup was invented in the Middle East, but used to effect hundreds of years later by Charles Martel’s knights at
Britain's leadership over this century [1750-1850] was, it must be emphasized, “not in its possession of a . . . best technique [individual inventions were readily licensed and exported ( ’s emendation)], but in its early forging of a culture which, through innumerable minor innovations . . . induced the best techniques” to become widespread. Gladstone , 120. Gladstone
Rather than offering a narrative that supports their hypothesis, Schweikart and Allen shift ground to a discussion of the development of property rights in