This week as an article in the New Yorker detailed how New Zealand has become the hottest spot on the planet for rich Americans to buy property. The New Zealand Herald even discovered that billionaire Peter Thiel, a member of Donald Trump's transition team, acquired citizenship and owns hundreds of acres there. "Buying a house in New Zealand" is now so common for the wealthy that the phrase has become code for having a backup plan for when the world turns to shit, as one mega rich investor told the New Yorker.

But amazingly, there was a brief period in the 19th century when it looked like New Zealand might join the United States. And there were a lot of perfectly logical reasons for it.