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The Market Revolution, Part I: Economic Change 1790s-1850s.

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Presentation on theme: "The Market Revolution, Part I: Economic Change 1790s-1850s."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Market Revolution, Part I: Economic Change 1790s-1850s

2 The US in 1800 Jeffersons republic – rural and agrarian 93% lived in rural areas (<2500 people) 84% were farmers o large majority: semisubsistence farmers limited access to markets produced little more than necessary neighborhood interdependence o local division of labor o barter labor provided by families o large families o need for abundant land Exceptions o cities & towns o areas near coasts & waterways o Southern plantations

3 Clash of Cultures Subsistence Culture Communal cooperation o emphasis on extended family ties Fierce independence strong embrace of Jeffersonian republicanism distrust of outsiders & distant authority celebration of equality scorn for luxuries Patriarchy o manliness based on physical abilities/courage o ironclad authority over family Market Culture Individualism/competition o immediate family over extended family Stability/social order favored Hamiltons worldview over Jeffersons stronger central government accepting of social distinctions/hierarchy pursuit of material gain Paternalism o manliness based on family responsibility o more egalitarian, loving relationships

4 The View from the Country The outside, market-oriented world was threatening o commercial agriculture required credit & depended on markets a downturn could lead to ruin, even loss of land o market values seemed foreign & immoral materialism, no sense of family/community Yet the market was also inviting o extra income manufactured goods labor-saving tools and machines pre-woven cloth, premade clothes variety in foods & food preparation nice things

5 Market Expansion Began in southern New England in the 1790s o market economy & culture already more widespread there Yankee values o land crisis by 1790s, too little land to continue to subdivide among children o eroded patriarchal authority smaller families farmers tried to buy more land o increased debt o brought more & more families into a cash economy commercial farming employment large-scale migration o New Hampshire & Vermont, upstate New York

6 The Industrial Revolution Meanwhile, industrialization was beginning o the Rhode Island System Samuel Slater employed many farm families, housed them nearby spinning at the factory, everything else put out o the Lowell System : with trade cut off, Bostons merchant elite invested in factories o first true factory (all under one roof) – Waltham, 1813 o Lowell mill was founded in 1823 employed local farm girls o these mill girls lived in strictly run dormitories o sent most of their pay home to the farm

7 Westward Migration By the 1810s, cheap land was unavailable in upstate New York o migrants Ohio, Indiana, Illinois o by 1830s, Mich., Wisc., & Minn. Migration was fueled by a Transportation Revolution o commercial expansion & transportation innovations were mutually intensifying o 1780s-1820s: roads macadamization o 1790s-1820s: steamboats o 1820s-1840s: canals Erie Canal, 1825 o 1840s-1930s: railroads

8 Westward migration accelerated expansion of the market into the interior o cheaper goods became available to more areas o more people bought household & farm items once made at home o more and more farmers involved in commercial agriculture NW: corn, wheat, cattle NE: dairy, vegetables By 1850, o the large majority of farming was commercial o the Northwest was fully integrated into a national commercial network tied especially strongly to the Northeast Westward Migration

9 Negative Consequences For many, the market revolution meant instability o In cities, the traditional artisan system was seriously disrupted mass-production devalued skilled labor o apprentices & journeymen unskilled wage workers first labor unions economic downturns strikes, riots o Farmers required credit to produce for market had to sacrifice their independence could become wealthy, could lose their land those unwilling to enter market economy were left behind o rising land values, inability to barter for services

10 Positive Consequences widespread access to manufactured goods o labor-saving tools and machinery, luxury items growth and spread of cities and towns o ever-increasing economic opportunities professions, service industries, merchants rapid growth of an urban middle class o expansion of education rapid technological advancement o constantly improving industrial machinery, transportation technology Whitney & interchangeable parts – the American system farm equipment – e.g., automated thresher, McCormick reaper o communications telegraph – Samuel Morse, 1844 the penny press


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