115 Volts or 220 Volts ?

Why the difference between the European and American electrical systems. Is there an advantage or disadvantage with use of either. Just curious what the rational is if any.
Best I can find, you can thank Tomas Edison for 120 volt in about 1882. Just happened to work best for the light bulbs he had invented. It appears the Germans get the credit for 230 volt. Reason, thats just the way it was. Countries with 120v say it is safer, 120v to neutral or ground, than Countries with 220v to as high as 240v to neutral or ground. Higher voltage will allow smaller conductor size. Power,watts, equals volts times amps.
I believe in Europe and the United Kingdom they have higher safety standards for their appliances,because of the higher voltage.
Before we give Mr Edison too much credit for any AC current distribution, see below


I didn`t give Edison credit for ac current!You did! I Just said Tomas Edison found that 120
volt nominal voltage worked for his light bulbs! And thats where it aparently started.
Higher voltage means less current for a given number of watts (power) so you can use smaller wire. That's why automobiles changed from 6 volts to 12 volts. Aircraft, where weight is important, have gone to 24 volts. This is a pain because you can't use jumper cables from your car to start the plane if the battery is dead.

You can kill yourself easily with 115 volts. The trick is to make a good solid connection with the hot wire and ground. If you just brush lightly against the hot wire, so that little current flows, 220 feels about like 115.
That is also why those really high transmission power lines you see that run for miles and miles are as high as 365k volts. And the highest trasmission line voltage is 765k. Voltage drop also has a lot to do with it.
Hi Eldartford, hows it going?
Besides the voltage drop fact, a 240V line is quieter than 120V one. The two hot lines, 120V each, cancel each other noise. I have a dedicated 240 line for my audio room. I own
Linn gear which have a voltage selector switch. My partner is an electrical contractor, he once told me that some countries use 240V because it will cheaper for the consumers. Last time I went to Germany a gallon of premium
unleaded was close to $5.00, that was 4 years ago, imagine the electric bill they mut pay.
Thank you for the responses! I wonder how the difference factors into the construction of power supplies which I understand is crucial for construction of 'High End"' audio?