The Market Revolution took place in the 19th century. It was a time of far-reaching changes in the United States. It has also been called a time of greater connection.
Infrastructure Changes The Market Revolution, or the economic expansion that occurred in America between 1815 and 1840, began with infrastructure changes. Roads and canals were built, enabling travel and the ability to move goods to and from other areas of the country.
The Market Revolution also brought many inventions that changed the way things were done. Inventions helped with manufacturing, farming and other areas.
The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney during this time. His invention did a lot to speed up the processing of cotton. Production was greatly increased by this invention. Instead of one pound per person per day, the amount that was able to be processed went up to 50 pounds. He also invented parts for guns that were interchangeable.
Samuel Morse helped invent the telegraph, which was important for connecting people across vast distances. John Deere invented the steel plow, which was a huge help to farmers. The sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe during this time. The sewing machine sped up the production of items made with fabric.
Communication, Transportation and Making the World More Connected Canals and steamboats allowed goods to be transported to from one part of the country to another. People were able to buy goods they could not in the past or sell their goods in other markets. The steamboat allowed producers to ship their goods anywhere.
The railway made it possible for people to travel great distances and it also was a way for goods to be transported. Areas that were once considered too remote became accessible during this time. Europe and America were able to communicate more easily thanks to the invention of the first transatlantic telegraph cable.
A Better Economy Improved transportation enabled the farmer to connect with markets, which in turn put more money in the farmer's pocket that could be used to purchase other goods. The farmer was also able to plant crops more productively due to the newly invented plow.
Advances such as the cotton gin, the steamboat, the sewing machine and others meant that there was a greater need for labor. Machinery also paved the way for factories to open up. Therefore, more people were able to work at paying jobs, away from home. This gave people more money to spend, which put more into the economy.
The cost of goods decreased due to the improvements in manufacturing and transportation. This also helped to stimulate the economy.
Women, who before now had worked at home most of the time sewing, selling eggs and doing other small jobs, were able to get out of the house and into paying jobs. The jobs were usually low-paying factory jobs, but they were a huge change from what women could do before the Market Revolution. Women were able to earn their own money and help out their families.
Immigration The economic expansion that America was experiencing was in sharp contrast to what was going on in Europe. Europe's economy, coupled with the need for more labor in America, fueled the high amount of immigration during the Market Revolution. Many immigrants from Germany and Ireland headed to America. Many of the Irish immigrants worked in low-wage, low-skilled jobs while many German residents filled the need for skilled workers.