What’s in it for me? Discover how American history is bound up with the development of capitalism.

Since the Mayflower docked in 1620, America has acted as a welcoming home for those looking for a brighter financial future. The author of Americana, Bhu Srinivasan, is one such immigrant: he arrived in the USA from India in 1984, at the age of eight. 

Growing up, Srinivasan moved all around the country with his family as his mother’s career developed: he lived in cities in Virginia, New York state, California, and Washington. Later on, he would be lured back down the West Coast to participate in the heady days of the early internet boom.

All in all, Srinivasan realized, his movements around the country had been mainly economic in nature, as he and his family had searched out the best available opportunities. It was economics that had first led his family to the country, and that had then defined their time there. The same, of course, was true for millions of others.

In fact, it’s possible to consider the whole of US history from an economic, rather than a political, point of view – and that’s what you’ll get in these blinks. They’ll tell you just how much capitalism has contributed to the development and identity of the United States.

In these blinks, you’ll find out

  • how the Mayflower was funded using the same method as countless tech startups;
  • how the economics of slavery drove the country to civil war;
  • how unelected president Theodore Roosevelt transformed the role of the federal government.