The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 by Charles Sellers

By Charles Sellers

The primary subject matter of this examine of yank existence within the early nineteenth century is the institution of capitalism. the writer argues that, following the economic Revolution, specified societies have been created within the united states: wealthy and negative, vendors and labourers, urban dwellers and farmers.

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The Protestant Reformation revitalized this magical patriarchalism to cope with the Old World market's initial surge. The awesome Jehovah proclaimed by Geneva's Protestant theologian John Calvin was brought to the New World by uprooted emigrants and preached from the Congregational meetinghouses of New England Puritans, the Presbyterian kirks of the Scotch-Irish, and the Reformed churches of Germans, Dutch, and French Huguenots. Calvinism's thrilling promise of divine encounter sacralized deep springs of animistic magic and mystery to arm rural Euro/Americans with invidious power against capricious fate.

New Yorkers exploited their advantages aggressively in reaching out to engross the rising exports of southern cotton. They bought cotton in Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, and New Orleans through resident agents called factors; their ships carried it to Liverpool, usually by way of New York; and the return cargoes guaranteed their dominance of the European import trade. With this pattern established, British exporters concentrated their postwar dumping of cut-rate merchandise in New York. Instead of resisting this destructive competition with American manufactures, New York commercial interests jumped at the chance to sell British products at the lowest possible rate through their already established system for auctioning imports to the lowest bidder.

To utilize the cheapest female and child labor, they hired large families, housing them in company-owned villages or compounds and feeding and clothing them from company stores. Hired by contract for terms up to a year, workers saw cash wages at the end of a term only if their earnings exceeded their charges at the company store. 37 Soon the American textile industry was reaching for technological parity with the British. During the War of 1812. the wealthy Boston Associates shifted much of their mercantile capital to textile manufacturing, and their leader, Francis Cabot Lowell, brought back from England the jealously guarded operating principles of the new power looms.

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