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The Gunbelt's Existence in American Economy

The scattered areas of the "gunbelt" achieved growth because, first, entrepreneurs and military planners sought locations that would provide them with greater freedom of action, and, second, because, once the initial armaments firms became established in an area, the national politicians representing those areas began directing almost all of their energies toward increasing the development of the armaments industry in those area.

2. The authors spend a great deal of time focusing on which locations have benefited (or lost) due to patterns of defense spending. Less time is spent on the overall level of defense spending. What is the significance of this focus on place rather than the overall importance of defense in the economy? Why do you think they chose this focus?

By focusing on place, as opposed to the overall effect on the economy of armaments spending, the authors are able to support their contention that a "gunbelt" developed as a consequence of some preplanned, conscious effort on the part of government planners. The significance of the focus on place rather than overall importance to the economy permits the authors to attribute the uneven growth of the various regions in the American economy to armaments spending by the federal government. It is difficult


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