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Vickers vs Watsons

Vickers vs Watsons - 1 Brittany Newell Vickers and Watson...

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1 Brittany Newell Vickers and Watson Essay As early 19 th century American society grew quickly, the opportunity to move away from producing for only your family, to a larger scale market economy began to develop. This scenario created many advantages and drawbacks for American people, most distinctively seen within the New England farmers in the north and the southern yeoman fishermen. As a result of the development of a market economy, the northern farmers were able to find competency whereas the southern fishermen found themselves dependent on planters causing an unsolvable dispute between the two sides and eventually leading to a distinct division between them. The people of New England indisputably benefitted from the development of a market economy. It created the opportunity to find competency, economic and social independence, or in Vickers’s words, “a degree of comfortable independence.” (Vickers 3). New Englanders had previously survived based solely on their own productivity. Farmers would produce just enough to allow their families survive. With the start of a market economy these farmers found that they could grow surpluses that could be sold off at markets. Different families were able to find specializations and become skilled at specific crafts. For example the Jackson family described in Vickers’s essay, “Competency and Competition”, picked cherries every fall to sell them off because they “are ready cash.” (Vickers 6). Also the family found they could create their own economic independence by making apple cider. The family had their own equipment and the neighbors would bring their apples to be pressed into cider. As well as cherry picking and creating apple cider, the Jackson family practiced the craft of shoemaking. The son, Caleb, found 1. Daniel Vickers, “Competency and Competition: Economic Culture in Early America,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3 rd Ser., 47.1, (January 1990), 3-29. 2. Harry L. Watson, “’The Common Rights of Mankind’: Subsistence, Shad and Commerce in the Early Republican South,” The Journal of American History, 83.1, (June 1996), 13-43.
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2 shoemaking to be no more than “an unpleasant obligation.” (Vickers 10) but the fact that the
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Vickers vs Watsons - 1 Brittany Newell Vickers and Watson...

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