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.
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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