US History (General)

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What was the Market Revolution, and what was its significance? 

The Market Revolution allowed for the mass production of goods. This event made goods cheaper and increased profits for business owners, but it also led to extreme poverty for people who worked in the factories, as the workers were viewed as replaceable parts.

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The Market Revolution changed economies all over the world. Mass production and interchangeable parts made production faster and cheaper. It also spelled the end of the livelihoods of many artisans who could only produce one piece at a time; in their place, artisans were replaced by lesser-skilled laborers who were not responsible for the entire production process but only one step. Since these workers were more replaceable, factory owners could justify paying them less. Without a minimum wage or worker protections, this led to a separation between the rich and the poor, with the poor competing with others for jobs that were more dangerous and paid less. Though mass production made goods available for the public at cheaper rates, it would also lead to extreme poverty in working-class populations throughout the Western world.

The Market Revolution had implications in other areas as well. Mass production and consumption called for an increase in raw materials; as a result, the cotton industry in the South exploded thanks to the invention of the cotton gin. This also meant that slavery would not die the natural death that the Founders intended but rather the slave was essential to supply the labor to keep the global textile trade moving. The Market Revolution also needed improvements in transportation and infrastructure in order to get goods to market as well as move raw materials where they could be used more efficiently. The Market Revolution is connected to the Transportation Revolution as nations started to rely on steam power in factories as well as transportation. The Market Revolution would also play a role in U.S. politics as Henry Clay sought to capitalize on the United States' growing industry by integrating the agricultural South with the industrial North into a commercial whole, an effort to make the country more efficient.

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