That headline is a big promise. But here it is: The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JP Morgan.
...Before the Industrial Revolution, there wasn't really any such thing as lasting income growth from productivity. In the thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution, civilization was stuck in the Malthusian Trap. If lots of people died, incomes tended to go up, as fewer workers benefited from a stable supply of crops. If lots of people were born, however, incomes would fall, which often led to more deaths. That explains the "trap," and it also explains why populations so closely approximated GDP around the world...
Which is why the chart is interesting, but misleading. A better illustration would use multiple logarithmic scales to depict the size of aggregate GDP.
The Industrial Revolution and the technological advances in the West during the 19th and 20th centuries transformed global GDP and permitted the United States, especially, to scale productivity at a record-setting clip.
Of course, that was when the U.S. had a true, unfettered free market system and not a federal government that intrudes on every aspect of human activity -- be it the size of your toilet tank, the kind of light bulbs you're allowed to buy, and how much you should pay for your health care.
Funny. I didn't see any of those powers enumerated in the Constitution.