The 19th Century Market Revolution Essay

The 19th Century Market Revolution Essay

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The 19th century market revolution was a period of dramatic socioeconomic development in the United States. According to Ronald Takaki, this “revolution” culminated in a boom of entreprenuership, ease of business, and an insatiable demand for labor that led to the racialization of minorities in the United States. After a stagnate economy in the late 1700s due to poor soil quality, the invention of the Cotton Gin by Elie Whitney jumpstarted the market by allowing tougher strains of cotton to be grown and processed. Suddenly, the “Cotton Kingdom” was immensely profitable. In addition, a decrease in shipping costs (76) and spreading use of banking and capital (76) made doing business in the US easier. The United States also had, in contrary to its founding principles, a certain method of procuring cheap land and labor. Non-white classes were subjected to white supremist policies to ensure the avaialbility of labor and land. Takaki provides several charts to illustrate these policies. Table 1 on page 77 shows Idian land sales compared to cotton bales produced. Indian land sales peaked in 1836 at 5,805,180 acres sold. By 1842, so much land had been acquired from the Idians that only 238,079 acres were sold (77). Indians were not business partners with the southerners. They were often cheated of their land or forced out by Indian Removal Act of 1830. Most of the Indians who were forced onto the Trail of Tears were from the South, areas that would become apart of the Cotton Kingdom.Now that cheap land had been acquired, workers were needed to fill the fields. The profits of slavery had become stagnate as did the economy until the Market Revolution. Now, slaves were highly desired. In 1820, there were 41,879 slaves in Alabama. By 1850, t...


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...increase in unions and a desire for worker’s rights across all races. The Japanese-Mexican Labor Association formed in 1903 in response to wage cuts. Not only did they succeed in obtaining a reasonable wage, this union illustrated how oppressed minorities could work together. Mexicans The Union fought unfair wages, as Mexicans were often paid significantly less than their Anglo counterparts (173). The Union also fought a contradiction in its attempt to be recognized by the American Federation of Labor. The JMLA was told that Chinese or Japanese were not allowed to be members of the AFL. In solidarity against this unequal policy, the JMLA passed on the membership. By recognizing the injustice in the contradiction between the American “belief” in “all men created equal,” this coalition of Mexican and Japanese workers proved that together, contradictions can be exposed.

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