Cities of the West – An American Success Story
Part one of two: Westward expansion and the American System’s unexpected triumph.
America’s western cities are booming. The major metropolitan areas of the West—defined as the vast region west of the 98th parallel and east of the Cascade and California Coast Ranges—have far outperformed most other U.S. metros over the last several decades in attracting people and businesses and creating opportunity for their residents.
The continuing growth of America’s western urban civilization is an undertold success story. The West’s cities have been shaped in a unique way by historical forces, despite all their differences. One central fact is that the West’s cities were late to develop relative to other U.S. cities. One is that, when they developed, a uniquely modern form of American capitalist fueled their development.
But a third force also made a decisive difference in the success of America’s western cities: aggressive federal policies that…