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American Entrepreneur by Lynne PIERSON DOTI, Larry SCHWEIKART

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CHAPTER 4

The Entrepreneurial Explosion: 1820–1850

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Perhaps no age in American history—save the modern—has witnessed as explosive growth in business and entrepreneurship as the so-called “Middle Period,” or the era from the Missouri Compromise to the end of the Mexican War. Private enterprise, especially small businesses, flourished. Fueled by waves of immigrants who came for the cheap land and for opportunity, businesses expanded to accommodate the new demand. Europeans flooded in, eager to acquire land in the “West” (Ohio and Kentucky). For a mere $160, a family could acquire 640 acres—a virtual estate in Europe—and by the 1820s, when land ...

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