A History of American State and Local Economic Development: As Two Ships Pass in the Night presents a three-part history of American state and local economic development since 1789. Part I concentrates on economic development from colonial times thru 1929. Part II deals with a transition era that starts with the Depression/New Deal and proceeds through Eisenhower (1961). Part III lays the foundation for twenty-first-century contemporary economic development focusing primarily thru the 1990s. Chapter 1 argues the need for, and value of, a history of American economic development as a “bottom-up” jurisdictional public policy perspective that views economic development strategy, tools, and programs as outputs of a jurisdictional policy system. The policy system rests on the jurisdictional political culture which shapes but does not determine its outputs. American economic development has displayed through its history the existence of two macro-political cultures: progressivism and privatism—these are the Two Ships. Each culture forged its own “style” or approach to economic development: mainstream/classic economic development (privatism) and community development (progressivism). The Chapter 1 model provides a framework for the history. That framework includes: characteristics of the profession (“onionization,” siloization, and bifurcation); the three drivers of economic development policy (industry/sector profit cycle, population mobility, and competitive hierarchies); and outputs which can be strategies, tools, and programs delivered by economic development organizations (EDOs) constructed, tasked, and empowered to respond to issues and problems generated in the course of the history. In particular, structural types such as “hybrid public–private,” jurisdictional lead agency, and specialized EDOs are key players in jurisdictional policy systems.