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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street.
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Historical Context

The Triumph of Capitalism

At the time Melville wrote "Bartleby the Scrivener," New York City was firmly entrenched as the financial center of the United States's economy. It had been the nation's leading port during the colonial era, and by the mid-nineteenth century, New York overflowed with banks, credit institutions, insurance companies, brokerage houses, and a thriving stock exchange—all of which put its business community at the forefront of the "organizational revolution" in American economic institutions. By the 1850s, the development of capitalism in New York had matured to the extent that open conflict emerged between wage laborers and capitalists in the form of strikes and street violence. As early as the 1830s, artisans and skilled workers formed trade unions to resist the methods of factory production and wage labor. These craftspeople resented being run out of business by rich capitalists who undercut their trade by selling...

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This section contains 687 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Study Guide
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Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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