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Becoming America 19th Century

Satisfactory Essays
colonies that allowed for the rapid growth and modernization that the economywould experience between 1680 and 1770 — expansion, extension, andspecialization. Merchants expanded in number faster than any other profession, andwere not limited to the emerging metropolises such as Philadelphia or New York.Merchants could be found even in the rural countryside — whether as permanent shopkeepers or making visits to sell their merchandise. Merchants also focused onspecialized industries, such as dry goods and cloth/sewing materials in order tomake a profit and gain a competitive edge. Another aspect that arose through theshift towards a modern economy was the inequality it created. The merchant eliteof the major cities differed sharply from the poverty that had not been seen in the…show more content…
The top 10% of Boston’s elite owned 46% of the city’s wealth in 1687. By 1770, they owned 63%. This signified that as the yearsprogressed, more was held by the few, and it was becoming increasingly moredifficult for newcomers to the economy to succeed. These patterns of prosperityversus poverty that were established during the middle years of the colonial periodwould become one of the American economy’s most enduring characteristics — onethat continues to plague society today.The third chapter of Becoming America examines politics — both on the localand national level. Butler focuses not so much on the political thoughts andideologies that were prevalent at the time, but on the systems that arose during themiddle years, such as legal issues, assemblies, and the public sphere. He argues
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