‘The Americas’ illustrates the different development trajectories of North and South America that run back to the colonial period and are rooted in geography and demography. The incorporation of the Americas into the global economy has had enormous ramifications for the Old World and the New. The native American population collapsed and indigenous civilizations were replaced by Europeans. South America contained most of the indigenous population and had the greatest wealth. It was also further from Europe, which affected the ability to trade. The history of the colonial economies of North and South America are discussed along with the impact of education and schooling on economic development.