Great advances were made in field of computing until end of WWII. Many of them happened in Britain. However, by about 1960 it can be safely said that US became home of computer science.

Why didn't Britain maintain its leadership status in this field? And how did US gain its leadership status?

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    Perhaps because the Americans forced fewer of their geniuses to commit suicide? Seriously, I think that GDP and population are probably lead answers.
    – MCW
    Nov 7 '15 at 13:37
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    How about large scale military and space programs that actually needed a lot of number crunching and where many of the physicist and mathematicians worked?
    – Greg
    Nov 7 '15 at 16:43
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    @MarkC.Wallace US had its own share of bigotry and witch-hunting, so no need of sarcasm
    – Greg
    Nov 7 '15 at 16:46
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    while there may not be a need for sarcasm, Irony is a self justifying pleasure.
    – MCW
    Nov 7 '15 at 16:48
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    Proportionally speaking I doubt you can say Britain wasn't still punching above its weight relative to America by 1960. Consider also that your perception of relative contributions may be skewed. For example, a backbone technology (packet switching) of the internet was invented in Britain in the 1960s by Donald Davis, helping to partially inspire the American ARPANET. Yet the latter was remembered as the internet's forerunner while Davis' contribution and the NPL network he created in Britain is largely unknown to the lay community.
    – Semaphore
    Nov 8 '15 at 10:03

The Age of Austerity; from the end of the war in 1945-1951, the British Empire went through a period of depression, a loss of huge amounts of wealth. It is most probable that the British didn't have the funding needed to maintain their standing in computer science. The U.S. didn't have the same financial limitations as the British after WWII, largely because the US had a more diverse and healthier economy.

The US was able to gain its dominance through not only a healthy financial situation but also through their competition with the Soviet Union after the war. Much of modern computer science can be contributed to the Cold War and the Space Race. The need for computer science greatly expanded in the US during the Cold War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_the_United_Kingdom

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    The more I ask the more it looks like it was due to money, which looked like too simplistic an explanation at the beginning.
    – bytefire
    Nov 9 '15 at 7:46
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    +1. Britain was left with enormous debt, and needed to export all it could to make repayments (largely to America), as well as rebuilding bombed cities, which left little money for things like research at home. I have a hi-fi tuner from 1947, one of its components had a hidden "Air Ministry" mark, and its receipt shows an added 50% Purchase Tax which no doubt went towards that debt. Feb 21 '16 at 20:44

Actually, I'm reading a book, "Turing's Cathedral" that discusses the development of computers. From my reading of the book it appears that the principal developments in computing, with respect to actually engineering a device that could implement computing principles, and bringing a product to market, occurred in the United States. The research in the United States was devoted to making a machine which could handle the computations necessary for the development of nuclear weapons. I would check out a brief history of the computing developments at the Institute for Advanced Studies.

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    Bringing the product to market is not computing. It's manufacturing. Steve Jobs brought products to market too but that doesn't mean he contributed to computer science.
    – bytefire
    Nov 9 '15 at 7:43
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    True, which is why I included the engineering distinction.
    – ihtkwot
    Nov 10 '15 at 20:43
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    Given who is the author of "Turing's Cathedral", the book may just possibly have an IAS-centred view of the world. Feb 21 '16 at 20:48

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