A History of Small Business in America by Mansel G. Blackford

By Mansel G. Blackford

From the colonial period to the current day, small companies were a vital part of yank existence. First released in 1991 and now completely revised and up-to-date, A historical past of Small company in America explores the primary yet ever-changing function performed through small organizations within the nation's financial, political, and cultural development.

Examining small companies in production, revenues, providers, and farming, Mansel Blackford argues that whereas small agencies have consistently been vital to the nation's improvement, their value has assorted significantly in several time classes and in numerous segments of our economic system. all through, he relates small company improvement to alterations in America's total enterprise and monetary structures and gives comparisons among the expansion of small company within the usa to its improvement in different international locations. He areas distinct emphasis at the significance of small company improvement for ladies and minorities. certain in its breadth, this ebook offers the one entire review of those major topics.

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Country storekeepers, farmers, artisanindustrialists, and bankers all sought material gain. De Tocqueville was struck by this orientation of most Americans during his travels in the early 1830s. ‘‘Fortunes, opinions, and laws are in ceaseless variation,’’ he found. The only constant in the new United States was the quest for wealth. ’’ The embrace of business by Americans contrasts with the attitudes of people in many other nations. In Great Britain, the first nation to industrialize, business people, especially manufacturers, never achieved the level of acceptance won by their counterparts in the United States.

Although less common than single-owner proprietorships, partnerships did exist. In the most prevalent form of partnership both partners gave full-time service to one store and contributed to its capital stock. Less commonly, a partnership might control two or more stores, with different partners running the individual stores and acting as agents in eastern cities. Occasionally, family-based partnerships grew to control chains of country stores. In 1803, Andrew Jackson operated three stores in different parts of Tennessee, and in the same year James and Archibald Kane ran four stores in villages around Albany, New York.

Massachusetts farmers, for instance, carefully considered the best markets in which to sell their produce, often traveling considerable distances, up to 150 miles, to make the most advantageous sales. Even many tenant farmers were entrepreneurially motivated. For many, tenancy was simply a temporary stage in their lives before they bought their own farms, and they invested a considerable share of their earnings in producSmall Business before 1880 21 tive assets, such as slaves and livestock, before coming into possession of their own land.

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A History of Small Business in America by Mansel G. Blackford
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