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The transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy took more than a century in the United States, but that long development entered its first phase from the 1790s through the 1830s. The Industrial Revolution had begun in Britain during the mid-18th century, but the American colonies lagged far behind the mother country in part because the abundance of land and scarcity of labor in the New World reduced interest in expensive investments in machine production. Nevertheless, with the shift from hand-made to machine-made products a new era of human experience began where increased productivity created a much higher standard of living than had ever been known in the pre-indust