Being that our country originated as British colonies, Great Britain has influenced American economic development from the beginning. First, and by design, Britain was our best customer. That is, the mother country became the market for our raw materials and cash crops, and remained so into at least the late 19th century. So our economy began and expanded on British money, and grew largely because of British business.
While our textile machines were copied directly from British design, by the mid to late 1800s, American industry had surpassed Britain in production and innovation. Labor practices were similar, for the most part, but as an island country, Britain has always been dependent on outside resources, while American business was able to grow without such restrictions.