After the mid-nineteenth century, the development of machine-powered mass-manufacturing techniques powered the American economy.
As late as the eighteenth century, the great bulk of people in Europe and North America were still supporting themselves and their families through their individual labor, mostly on farmlands.
The Homestead Act accelerated settlement of western lands in the United States. Initiated in response to pressure for the disposition of public lands, the act transferred ownership of property to U.S. citizens or immigrants willing to establish residence on the land and to make improvements and cultivate crops.
The fact that large numbers of Americans have emigrated to other countries is not often openly acknowledged because immigration of foreigners to the United States has always received more media attention.
Throughout the history of the United States, quests for economic betterment have been a driving force behind the decisions of immigrants to come to the United States.
The United States and Canada are the two main immigrant destinations in North America.