"What's interesting was how it (US, my word) overtook Europe only less than two centuries....(w)hat's interesting was why the Europeans who conquered the world, not vice versa (or why not the Chinese)"It's an elusive quest indeed to explain what was going on --let alone, what will be going on next. But here is some thoughts on institution, based on my limited reading.
Why China and Middle East before Europe? Geography, said Jared Diamond.
Why Europe got industrial revolution? Culture, said David Landes. Culture embedded in evolutionary biology (or demography), argued Gregory Clark. And perhaps economic institutions (a.k.a private property right and market), said Acemoglu et.al (in pdf).
Why US and later Asian Tigers? The same Acemoglu's economic institutions.
Who's next and why? We don't know (Rodrik and Easterly position).
Do you have any idea?