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Merchants and Empire

Trading in Colonial New York

Cathy Matson

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In Merchants and Empire, Cathy Matson examines the economic ideas and behavior of New York City's commercial wholesalers, especially the middling merchants who, as a majority of active traders, affected the character of city commerce over its colonial years. Although less prominent in transatlantic dry goods commerce than the great traders, this middling majority spread dissenting economic ideas and flouted political authority time and again when the benefits to their interests were clear. Indeed, middling or lesser merchants fashioned a plausible alternative to mercantilism, and contributed…

In Merchants and Empire, Cathy Matson examines the economic ideas and behavior of New York City's commercial wholesalers, especially the middling merchants who, as a majority of active traders, affected the character of city commerce over its colonial years. Although less prominent in transatlantic dry goods commerce than the great traders, this middling majority spread dissenting economic ideas and flouted political authority time and again when the benefits to their interests were clear. Indeed, middling or lesser merchants fashioned a plausible alternative to mercantilism, and contributed significantly to the challenges Americans offered to British rule in the final colonial years.

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Merchants and Empire

Cathy Matson

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Reviews

Reviews

The book is a major new contribution to New York and colonial economic and commercial history..[It] has readability and interest for anyone with a taste for American History.

Matson offers a very detailed view of the growth of the New York mercantile community..backed by extensive documentation.

Merchants and Empire capably shows how New York became a great port..[It] is a valuable addition to historical literature on the commercial development of American colonies and on the economic growth of American Cities.

Matson's subject is a hsitorically important phenomenon, her agenda significant, and her presentation a potentially powerful explication of merchant ideology.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
472
ISBN
9780801872471
Illustration Description
10 b&w illus.
Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Cathy Matson

Cathy Matson is an associate professor of history at the University of Delaware. She is coauthor of A Union of Interests: Politics and Economy in the Revolutionary Era.