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How does American business affect you? How and why has it changed since the United States began? Come explore stories of business men and women who have changed the world. See hundreds of intriguing objects that illustrate transformations in society. Think about how Americans have mixed capitalism and democracy, in an effort to balance individual opportunity and the common good.

Click on the icons below to investigate four major eras in American business history:

In the Merchant Era, a market revolution affected enslaved and free people, transforming relationships between buyers and sellers and replacing face-to-face bargaining with less personal business.

During the tumultuous Corporate Era, America became an urban nation. Business got big. While the gap between the rich and poor grew, the growing middle class earned and consumed more.

During the Consumer Era, production boomed and consumerism shaped the American marketplace, which spread from cities to suburbs.

Screenshot of the Global Era digital labels interactive display with linkIn the Global Era, the United States became a nation of fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees.