Lead: Faced with foreclosures and shrinking credit, farmers in backcountry New England began to shut the government down.
Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.
Content: In the years following the American Revolution, the vast majority of New Englanders lived on subsistence farms. They grew crops for survival plus a little bit extra to exchange for manufactured goods, tools, gunpowder, medicine and so forth. One Massachusetts farmer spent about $10.00 a year for salt, nails and the like.
On the coast life was more commercial. Merchants, shopkeepers, sailors, and fishermen were in business to manufacture and transport goods. Profits made in this type of enterprise were plowed back into expansion and new money making projects in the time honored capitalist tradition. Gradually, over the years, the commercial culture on the coast began to penetrate inland in search of markets. Bridging the gap were inland merchants who persuaded farmers to buy manufactured goods on credit. If there was a bad crop, the merchants would extend more credit to the farmers for the next year. Slowly subsistance farmers were drawn into the market economy and many of them resented it. During hard times merchants would demand the cash repayment of loans. If the farmers didn't have it they lost their farms.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [5.96 KB]