How could one explain the development gap between India and Europe?
India produced Opium which was used to finance the Opium market in China for Britain. Britain took its first colonize in India in 1757, and gained the right to collect taxes on the land in 1765. This allowed to Britain to purchase more Indian textiles, and to create its own army of Sepoys. They then used that army to extend its control over all of India. The Industrial Revolution allowed Britain to begin making more textiles for cheaper prices, and this allowed them to out do the Indian Textile market. Eventually the Indian Textile Market fell into shambles. Many of the former textile workers became farmers, but they had to sell crops that could be sold since the British East India Company only collected taxes in money. This is why they turned to cash crops such as Indigo, Sugarcane, Cotton, and Poppies. Britain played a huge role in the "deindustrialization" of India, and set it on the path to becoming a third world country.
At what point would you say American History begins?
While there are many possible answers to this question, I would argue that American History begins in 1453 when the Turks take Constantinople. But some could argue that Marco Polo's Journey was the spark that lit the match, since Constantinople only became popular after his journey.
What do both Thomas Jefferson's and Herbert Hoover's Presidencies demonstrate about the power of the presidency?
Thomas Jefferson's interpretation of the Constitution was very strict in the sense that he would not read in or infer into the document to change to the whim of the day. However, Thomas Jefferson, when Napoleon offered him the Louisiana Purchase, could not pass up a such a great deal. However, the Constitution did not allow for the government to purchase land from another country. So he had to break his interpretation, purchased the land, and extended the power of the Federal Government and the President. Herbert Hoover was a strong humanitarian who organized aid relief after the end of WWI. When the stock market crashed in 1929 however, he gave little aid to the American Public, due to his belief that the budget of the United States could not go into deficit. Both of these presidencies demonstrate that the power of the presidency can force men to betray their convictions.