I totally agree with all of this. Natural resources and lack of nearby military enemies are great, but those things don’t make a great nation alone. The secret of America’s success is setting up government the right way from the beginning. The right way being:
[li]Democratic elections.[/li][li]Separation of powers with checks and balances.[/li][li]Freedom of religion, speech, press, trial by jury, and other rights clearly stated in the Constitution.[/li][li]Economic freedom. People can work hard and keep the earnings from that hard work.[/li][/ul]
Any nation that tries government under that basic outline will have success, not necessarily identical to America’s but close enough.
The presence of slavery in the historical record is an unfortunate fact, but serves to further confirm the facts. The South was the least free region of the country until about 1965 it was also by far the poorest region. The North, where the economy was based in freedom, turned out much wealthier.