Part 63: Q&A - December 4
Empire Total War: The Second 80 Years War quick online Q&A
Q: How under developed was America? How long would it take for their economy to match that of India?
A: The Americas would be roughly on par with India as of the mid to late 1800s. Prior, America had relied mostly on food shipments and furs, and would continue to do so up until the late 1700s early 1800s where their focus would switch to heavy industry and international trade. During the 1700s, building factories was unsustainable, as the population of European immigrants was insufficient to man them while simultaneously drawing in the necessary resources and food production. The labour shortage was critical enough as it was with thousands of slaves being shipped to the Americas to work in the plantations that would otherwise lay fallow.
India had adopted several industries much as they had in Europe, and the population was many times over that of colonial North America. A factory produced in Delhi would be filled to the brim with workers looking to earn a living before they foundation had even been poured. Not only that, but India's mineral resources were already surveyed, whereas the Yukon Gold rush was still a long way from being discovered. All in all, India at the time could be invested in with heavy industry, mining, farming and spice trade. The taxation coming in from their titanic population alone would outdo North American tax income for over a hundred years.
America had its population boom in the mid to late 19th century, and it was during that time that the great industrial cities like Chicago and Detroit became their economic centers (though that didn't last into the 21st century). Until the Americas represented a stable, free and well built place to live, the thriving coal fueled factories of Europe would still be a long way off.