Some of the first entities to develop successful (merchant) capitalism, the cutting edge as it were, were the small city-states of Italy and the surround region, and the Netherlands, another very small country. But as time went on much larger entities, like united Spain or France became dominant, and these Italian city-states desperately struggled to keep up – which they were eventually able to do only by fusing together into a united Italy in the 19th century (Germany was also doing a similar thing, of course).
Some of the first entities to develop successful, industry-powered, global-reac capitalism, the cutting edge as it were, were the nation-states of Europe, like Britain, France, Spain, Portugal. But now, much larger entities, like the United States of America, the People’s republic of China, or the Russian federation – organisations that are, let’s face it, no nation-states, each covering about half a continent – seem to have become dominant. Those European nation-states are desperately sturggling to keep up – which they are managing to do (?) only by fusing together into a European Union(?).
Is there a general tendency for small entities to be the cutting-edge, before falling behind as entities on a qualitatively different scale replicate their structures, leaving them trying to form a larger-scale entity through combination?
I know very little about Ancient history – is there any link with Greece and Rome here?