Evolution of the Market Economy: Jobs Essay

Evolution of the Market Economy: Jobs Essay

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The evolution of the market economy began during the pre-industrial era and ended roughly, by the end of the industrial revolution. The nature of labor drastically changed for the American workers and slaves, specifically in Philadelphia. Society was predominantly based on artisan work up until the emergence of the division of labor. Adam Smith and Alexis de Tocqueville have different opinions on how it effected the development of labor in America. While Smith celebrated the division of labor, Tocqueville was less sanguine about it. Furthermore, machines hastened productivity. Aside from the, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and the mechanical loom caused rebellions to occur among slaves and artisans, respectively. The division of labor and the introduction of machines led to the exile of Native Americans, a widespread of slavery, and an increase of wage laborers. Herein lies the beginning of modern capitalism as well as a precursor to the Civil War.
By the 1700’s, the nature of production relied on skilled craftsmen called artisans. Each worker specialized in a field based on what they owned. For example, if you owned a loom, you were a weaver, and nothing else. The artisans would usually have an apprentice/journeyman to work alongside them for a small wage. This kind of work was great for the individuals because there was little to no competition. Typically, in a colony, there was only one blacksmith, one baker, one sewer, one shoemaker, etc… All of the artisans were self employed and had complete control over their work. It was an autonomous system, which means that the workers had independence but were still tied to the economy.
There was also merchant class, who focused on selling, rather than creating. Although the craftsmen ...


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...are of the country increased tremendously. There was more production, more jobs, and more trade, which all led to a higher flow of money. The development of the market economy began with artisan work, merchants, slavery, and the division of labor. And from these, began the origins of modern capitalism in America. The expansion of slavery is a direct cause of the Civil War soon to come.






Works Cited


Foner, Eric (2004) Tom Paine and Revolutionary America. New York: Oxford Press.


Clark, Christopher et. al (2008) Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History. Volume One: To 1877. New York: Bedford St. Martin’s.


Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/ENLIGHT/WEALTH1.HTM


De Tocqueville, Alexis. How an Aristocracy May be Created by Manufactures http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ch2_20.htm

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Evolution of the Market Economy: Jobs Essay

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