• Published on Feb 9, 2019
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    Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
    The Market Revolution which occurred in the United States, in the 19th century, is a historical model which argues that there was a drastic change of the economy, which disoriented and deordinated all aspects of the market economy in line with both nations and the world. Charles Grier Sellers, a leading historian of the Market Revolution, portrays it as a highly negative development that marked the triumph of capitalism over democracy. He argues that this was one of the most significant transformations of America within the first half of the nineteenth century-indeed, the defining event of world history-the evolution from an agrarian to a capitalist society. Sellers observes:
    While dissolving deeply rooted patterns of behavior and belief for competitive effort, it mobilized collective resources through government to fuel growth in countless ways, not least by providing the essential legal, financial, and transport infrastructures. Establishing capitalist hegemony over economy, politics, and culture, the market revolution created ourselves and most of the world we know.
    Traditional commerce was made obsolete by improvements in transportation and communication. This change prompted the reinstatement of the mercantilist ideas that were thought to have died out. Increased industrialization was a major component of the Market Revolution as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Northern cities started to have a more powerful economy, while most southern cities (with the marked exception of free labor metropolises like St. Louis, Baltimore, and New Orleans) resisted the influence of market forces in favor of the region's slave system. It also was in part influenced by the need for national mobility, shown to be a problem during the War of 1812, after which the government increased production of early roads, extensive canals along navigable waterways, and later elaborate railroad networks.
    Following the War of 1812, the American economy was altered from an economy dependent on imports from Europe to one that evolved greater internal production and commerce. In 1817 James Monroe replaced James Madison as president of the U.S. The Democratic-Republicans continued policies begun in Jefferson's administration. With a new generation of leaders the Democratic-Republican Party came to embrace the principles of government activism and the development of large-scale domestic manufacturing. Despite all of the promises that characterized the United States, discrepancies loomed: the survival of slavery, treatment of the Indians, the deterioration of some urban areas, and a mania for speculation. The nation was not just growing through the addition of land, but population shifts brought about new states to the Union and when Missouri petitioned for statehood in 1819, the issue of slavery was thrust on the national agenda. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the issue awakened him "like a firebell in the night." That the Missouri question coincided with the nation's worst financial crisis awakened anxieties in many Americans. By the 1820s Americans recognized a rough regional specialization: plantation-style export agriculture in the south, a north built on business and trade, and a frontier west. The regions were interdependent but in time their differences would become more obvious, more important, and increasingly more incompatible.
    The market revolution also brought about a change in industry and agriculture. Eli Whitney perfected a system of producing muskets with interchangeable parts. Prior to Whitney's invention, most muskets-and all other goods-had been handmade with parts especially designed for each particular musket. The trigger of one musket, for example, could not be used to replace a broken trigger on another musket. With interchangeable parts, however, all triggers fit the same model of musket, as did all ramrods, all flash pans, all hammers, and all bullets. Manufacturers in many different industries soon took advantage of Whitney's invention to make a variety of goods with interchangeable parts....

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