Exactly Pikeshot. I agrew with you. It is unlogic to compare WV and California as British or Spanish Dominions evidence. USA are great economic power by their own... as UK or Australia... California is not a great economic area because it was a Spanish Dominion but because people have done it great..as Canada or Australia.The OP seems to imply that Britain's colonies which became successful were those settled by substantial populations of Europeans, not those where Britain controlled large native populations as in Africa, and in India and Pakistan. Although there were Europeans who settled there, those locations were more exploitative economic dependencies than colonies.
Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and perhaps until recently South Africa, were successful in establishing wealthy societies based upon European cultures. Although India has promise, poverty and corruption are wide spread and remain serious challenges. Africa, in most cases regardless of "colonial past", seems as unsuccessful as it has seemed for many centuries.
Although the history of the Iberian maritime nations is fascinating, the legacy in Latin America has often resulted in political instability and corruption at all social levels. Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, and even Panama and Mexico are big examples of corruption and instability, and Chile, while a general success story, has had a lengthy experience with military repression.
The mentioned social-political simulacra of Great Britain have avoided the overpowering corruption referenced above (although the US is currently a question mark - but we can't discuss that). Politically those former colonies have been pretty stable.
Comparing West Virginia (G.B./VA) with California (Spain) is too compartmentalized for the premise of the OP it seems.
Former British Dominions as Canada or Australia are highly development countries...but not because they were British former Dominions... (Ireland was it and it was one of poorest countries in Europe)... Bangladesh is not poor or corrupted because of Britain...only because of their own system.
Low Countries were one of richest place in Europe before being a Spanish Dominion...they continued being rich under Spanish Dominion (as Lombardy) and they are some of richest areas in Europe after Spanish Dominion... Guatemala was a poor area before Spain, during Spanish dominion and after... The same about Bangladesh or about Pakistan. Argentina was one of richest countries on Earth... not because it was a Spanish Dominion.. as today it is not down because of Spain or Britain at all.
It is not possible to say better than you have written. I agree with you in everything you have written but specially in this phrase:
This is a question that runs over and over again in this forum.
I don´t know why they don´t use another Empire comparation.. for example: Britain and France... Britain and Portugal, Britain and Netherland or Britain and Germany etc etc It is always the comparation between British Dominions (I don´t know why always Canada-Australia and not Bangladesh-Burma) and the Spanish one.
As it was studied by Elliot... both Empires were similar and different.. the "mind", the "social values" were different.. British Empire is a bourgeois Empire with a Burgeois mind ( liberalism, imperialism, capitalism, protestantism)... the Spanish one is a nobiliarian empire... based on Nobility with the low nobility mind (Hidalgos, Fidalgos, Hijosdalgos)..traditionalism, merchantilism, catholicism. As I read from a Canadian student:
Both empires were extremely wealthy and possessed powerful navies. The similarities between the two are endless.
In both Empires the sun was never set but I can find another 3 European Powers with dominions in each Continent: Portugal-France-Netherland. Why not to compare British and Dutch Empires? Spain vs Britain or Britain vs Spain... is getting boring.
In this thread nobody wrote about to be settled by "European". Mr Paulagnes only said British and Spanish "colonies" (that I understand as "Dominions" because Spain never had "colonies").