Once upon a time, the German House of Hanover ruled the Seven Seas via ownership of the British Isles. The British had the biggest navy and the greatest manufacturing base. By WWI, Britain was dethroned and Germany was destroyed so the US took up the mantle of World Shipping/Manufacturing Power. WWII made the US even stronger. We built ships and made goods at a mad rate. Since then, it is been all downhill for the US with the Cold War leading the desperate US powers struggling to stay #1 via reviving Germany and Japan both of which became top world manufacturing and trade powers.