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Market Revolution refers to the far-reaching change which took place in manual labor system coming from South and spreading towards North then to other parts of the world between 1793 and 1909 (Charles, 9). Undoubtedly, the period suit the label owing to the fact that it was characterized by quintessential economic transformation in United States of America which lay within the spheres of the market and characters. Traditional aids to trade became obsolete as a result of improvements in infrastructure. Market revolution goes down in history books as a significant period which provoked reincarnation of a number of mercantilist ideas which for some time had died out. Evidence suggest that this was caused by industrialization for example; invention of Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney. Market revolution paved way for isolationism especially in North America which was about to erupt into a severe American Civil War since the cities had managed to build powerful economy that began to challenge other economies such as one in mid-sized cities in Europe during that period. The market revolution is dear in the heart of America society to date as it is crystal clear that it still drives the present day economy hence it is imperative to give it a critical treatment and delineate all the relevant facts pertaining to events, causes and effects in different parts of America and the world.
Market revolution centers on “the universal displacement of traditional cultural controls over production, distribution and exchange (describing features of early modern economies) by market transactions that were only managed by economies factors such as price, supply and demand” (Larson, 19). The period is mainly known for people trading on commodities rather than making them for their own consumption. It is important to note that that the term in itself is useful for what it recognizes by omission. This implies that economy in America hardly registered transformation because of industrial revolution as it if often assumed during these years. On the same note technological revolution can hardly fit for these years despite the fact that introduction of useful new technologies was made in few industries. It means that most of the growth registered in the economy at these times was not linked to introduction of new machinery in any way though new machines were useful. In fact, manufacturers continued using old methodologies and tools and farmers never derived any benefit out of new technologies until 1850. Therefore, the term market revolution best suit the period between 1793 and 1909 with notable dramatic changes sweeping across the American economy whose effects infiltrated the contemporary United States of America.
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Causes of Market Revolution
Causes of these dramatic changes in American economy seem contentious and to many, it is like chasing a mirage. One of the enormous contributors is the sheer abundance of resources and land in North America even though majority of people ignored the riches provided by nature. The general freedom brought about by American Revolution, property rights, celebrating liberty and equality provided ambitious people with free access to such natural resources while leaders who had them at hand might have restrained them. The natural result that done away with controls set by systems of punishment and rewards was competitive individualism in regard to human nature. Significantly, “market revolution came forth on a broad front pulling together all and sundry, planting in the common mind a belief and commitment in economic laws such as irreducible as gravity itself” (Bruchey, 34). Therefore, industrialization and reduction of labor are the fundamental causes of market revolution. In addition, the market revolution was catalyzed by the wave of immigration with most immigrants originating from Europe. This translated to large force of labor required by factories during those days. Furthermore, willingness of immigrants even to work at low wages was overwhelming hence labor was never a problem.
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Effects on American society and culture
Market revolution completely transformed family and economic structure. As opposed to the norm of making profits out of small firms before market revolution, individuals more so in the east moved to factories and cities in large numbers. The women also changed their long tendencies of working indoors to working alongside men for long hours in the factories. Children were also not left out such that instead of usual custom of helping in farms, they began working together with their parents under dreary conditions in factories. Even though men were skilled farmers and artisans while women seamstresses, the period hardly gave room for such skills since it involved a more from generalization to specifications. It also had tremendous effect on the lives of Southerners who were farmers who now started gearing their efforts to garnering heavy profits instead of their usual subsistence farming. The gap between the rich and poor could hardly escape the snare of widening caused by market revolution. The new economy ensured that some, especially ones who had workers, became millionaires while the workers became the unlucky poor. Therefore, Market revolution impacted economic and social structures of American society as well as coming in of new culture characterized by new cuisine, dressing styles and tendencies.
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Effect on different regions--North vs. South, East vs. West, and urban vs. rural
Market revolution promoted sectionalism in America. In relation, King Cotton emerged to be the basic crop in the South thus kindling demand for labor which in turn made southerners to increase using slaves in crop production. Opposed to this move, North banned slavery and further made efforts for South to follow their course. Antagonism arose with development of textile industry in North creating demand for cotton as raw materials. This meant that South required more labor which had to be provided by slaver thus making it more difficult for North to successfully finish slavery happening in the South (Charles, 30). In the west harvesting of raised livestock and grains became paramount in order to feed workers in the east and in turn, the East was more focused on making textiles and machines that was taken to the west. On the same note, rural areas experienced depopulation while urban areas overpopulation because people moved from rural areas to urban areas in search for jobs.
In conclusion, market revolution came out as a spectacular thing. It laid a strong foundation development of a solid economy that has shaped United States to date. In fact, without market revolution, farming, transport and communication, industries and other key tenets of the economy could still be lagging behind.
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