Hmmmm, I don't know how to take this. What I said was not meant to be insulting, just a response to what you said, a rebuttal, if you will, with a bit of nostalgic tie-in's with earlier sparring matches we have had. If what I said was insulting to you, then let me appologize, I am sorry.

However, on this present topic, I do not think that America can claim the ownership of the first free thinking "nerds" in modern times either, in my opinion. Look at Englandand France(but especially England) in the 17th-19th century, and their developement of creditors and an early form of the stock market, and the first insurance companies(like Lloyd's of London for example). I think that the Europeans beat us to the punch there, too. However, I will grant that what happened in America around the times you mentioned is different. Like a fine tuning of the original idea, that made it better. America has a knack, I think, for taking an old idea (like the republic of ancient Rome) and making it better, which is one of the reasons why the upstart Americans, though new to the world, are one of the major player's, I think(to all Canadians, y'all are also like this, have this form of greatness, so don't feel left out =P).