"Europe is scarcely at the forefront of anything any more,"
Its ironic really that you put that phrase after a paragraph of American examples from the last century !
The internet ? Last century.
ICs ? Last century.
GPS ? Last century.
Jet Engine? Last century.
I would say going by that list, the US is "scarcely at the forefront of anything any more" !
And if you want to play the last century game, two can play at at that game:
The internet is American you say ? Tim Berners-Lee, Calliau one or two others may wish to have a word.
The LCD monitor you typed your comment on ? That would be a British invention.
That ARM processor that's in any number of gadgets surrounding you? That would be a British invention.
The space suit ? That was not invented on US soil.
Cinematography ? The US may have Hollywood, but the Europeans invented the technology.
Submarines ? The US boast about their submarines. The invention ? Yup, European.
Telephones ? What's that ? You forgot about some Scottish chap called Graham Bell ?
Loudpeakers ? That would be a European invention.
Printing press ? That would be European.
Glasses ? Contact Lenses ? Yup... European
Parachutes ? Yup.. European
Need I go on ?
Oh, perhaps one more ....
Irony of all ironies ....
The bullet proof vest.
That would be a European invention.