The Market Revolution, Industrialization, and New Technologies

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The Market Revolution and its related economic growth dramatically changed communication, transportation, and social life in the United States. However, it did not impact all Americans in the same way. Who did it help the most? Who did it help the least?

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During the Market Revolution in 19th century America, the Northeast and Midwest developed increased transportation and communication networks. These sections of the country also began to industrialize and to develop transportation networks between them. The Midwest produced a lot of the food for the Northeast, shipping the food eastward on canals or through the growing railroad system linking the Northeast and the Midwest. The Northeast became the center of industrial production.

However, the South was largely left out of this new transportation and communication network. The South increasingly turned to the production of cotton for mills in the Northeast and in Europe, and the Southern economy relied on slavery rather than on industrial production. In addition, the South fell behind the other areas of the country in terms of its railroad and transportation networks. Over time, the Northeast and Midwest were more connected culturally, politically, and economically, while the South was less connected to the other regions of the country. The Market Revolution helped industrialists in the Northeast and farmers in the Midwest, but it did not change the economy of the South.

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