Friday, April 8, 2011

Weigh the relative importance of the Industrial and Market revolutions in changing the American economy. In what ways was the economy different in 1860 from what it had been in 1800? How would you explain those differences?

By 1800, the American economy was predominantly agrarian. This changed dramatically by 1860 with the Industrial and Market revolutions. New industrial machines allowed the industrialist to produce more goods, faster, and therefore more manpower was needed. A market economy was born. New jobs were created in the Northern states, while the Southern ones encountered the expansion of slavery. The influence of the Industrial and Market revolution in the South was reflected in the mass production of cotton, required for the textile industry in the North. The strong industrialization had as consequence the people’s migration from rural areas to the cities, and also a significant increase in population, as living standards improved. But the Industrial Revolution had also a negative impact on the working class, who were living in overcrowded and unsanitary houses and had difficult working conditions. Overall, the Industrial and Market Revolution was an important turning point in the American history and had as consequence the change from an agricultural and rural society into an industrial and urban one.

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