The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 by Charles Sellers

By Charles Sellers

The relevant topic of this examine of yank existence within the early nineteenth century is the institution of capitalism. the writer argues that, following the economic Revolution, exact societies have been created within the united states: wealthy and bad, owners and labourers, urban dwellers and farmers.

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Instead the Louisiana Purchase—"an empire for liberty," he called it—promised indefinite perpetuation of the yeoman republic. Beyond this what the emerging majority wanted from the federal government was exactly what it got-—low taxes, rigid economy, retirement of the Hamiltonian public debt, an ostentatious simplicity of official style, and no grandiose projects. Jefferson and Madison spent most of their four presidential administrations trying to force their remaining objective of free trade on the warring European powers.

The inherent dynamic was toward competition between two heterogeneous coalitions or parties, and this two-party system came to encompass every kind of state and local rivalry and division. 9 Where Federalism paradoxically got much of its following from the threatened rural culture of New England, Republicanism got much of its leadership from entrepreneurial and often elitist elements that were excluded or otherwise alienated from local Federalist establishments. The Crowninshields, a rising merchant family in Salem, became Republican out of rivalry with the more established Federalist Derbys.

Six or eight might finance a single sailing, and all were constantly seeking alternative investments. The merchant was a general capitalist entrepreneur, not only sending out trading ventures but lending to local borrowers, financing retailers, speculating in urban real estate and interior lands, underwriting marine insurance, and engaging in privateering and military contracting during the recurrent colonial wars. Urban wealth steadily concentrated in the hands of the successful. Because merchants required considerable capital to get started, the advantage went to those 22 / The Market Revolution with inheritances or family connections.

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