History repeats itself. This concept applies not only within the realm of a singular nation's history but throughout and between nations. That is to say, that what one nation endures, throughout its economic and political history, may be compared to and be strikingly similar to that of many other nations. As we analyze social change thought the world we have noticed a cyclical pattern of histories, both economic and political, in the countries of Spain, Holland, Britain, and the United States.
Throughout history and during alternating time periods, countries have grown from feeble entities, defeated by or ruled by the governing structures of foreign nations, to powerful nations. Between the fifteenth and the sixteenth century, SPAIN ruled as a great power among other nations. Its empire began when, in 1492, Spain financed Columbus's expeditions and explorations to conquer territory in the New World. Once it held its new established territory, Spain relied on the influx of gold and silver from the New World. Spain was the first country to start an empire and consequently started a trend. Once HOLLAND gained their independence from Spanish rule, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it moved on to become a great power. Holland had relied on seafaring and the economic success of Amsterdam until around 1620. "By mid-century, however, they had used their technical sophistication and control of vital raw commodities to build successful industries . . . and supported by Holland's bourgeois virtues, trading preeminence and credit, Dutch manufactures soon dominated a number of European markets" (BP 198). Holland remained in power until its decline began in the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1750, the Dutch started losing European markets but continued as the number one market country in Europe. The British moved in where the Dutch had been. GREAT BRITAIN reached great heights in the middle of the eighteenth century. Starting out as the home of the Industrial Revolution, Britain was considered the workshop of the world. However, by the 1890's Britain was losing ground in the global market of manufacturing, specifically to the United States and Germany. The UNITED STATES, is the youngest of the nations studied in this essay, which became a major power at the end of World War I, and since then has experienced both increases and declines in power. Since the 1920's until present day The United States has moved from an agricultural society to an industrial society as many moved from the rural areas into the urban areas and the cities.
When it was an empire, SPAIN had control over many countries, including South America, Mexico, Latin America, and the Philippines. Not only did Spain conquer new land during its zenith, but it combined much of Europe under one rule as the Hapsburg Empire when it united the crowns of Castile, Leon, and Aragon. "Besides opening much of America, sixteenth-century Spain was also ruling a Hapsburg empire that extended beyond the Iberian Peninsula to Flanders, Germany, Austria and Italy," during its rapid internationalization (BP 216). After the union of the Spanish crowns and the rise of the Hapsburg Empire, Madrid experienced a major increase in its population, as what often occurs when a new world political capital comes into existence. "The new imperial capital mushroomed from a population of 4,000 in 1530 to 35,000 in 1594 and at least 100,000 in the mid-1600's before fading again when the great days were over" (AC 31). While the Dutch was in war with Spain it accepted various kinds of people,such as the Jews and the Huguenots, and eventually acquired a vast empire. Although HOLLANDS realm was comparably smaller to that of Spains, its domain included the United Provinces, New York, New Amsterdam, and the East Indies. "The purest governmental culture was in the Hague, which, after...