Situating merchants in late eighteenth-century British Atlantic port cities
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Merchants living in the early modern era experienced their commercial successes and failures not only as participants in great Atlantic world networks of traders and goods, but also as residents of particular local places. Scholars’ sensitive and rich portraits of port city commerce portray international traders as the decision makers who shaped longdistance trade, which in turn had a profound influence on the developing character of individual port cities. Integrating and improving across great spans of time and space, the British Atlantic merchant formed coherent networks that shared a language of credit, trust, and profitable exchange. But just as significantly, we can start to integrate the myriad daily economic choices of local city residents with those of merchants, and we can do so productively by recognizing the “cityness” of ports, a quality constituted from the constant interactions, negotiations, and perceptions of their residents within man-made and natural surroundings. This article tests how the intertwined natures of long-distance trade and local cityness affected the different commercial trajectories of three merchants in three different British Atlantic ports.
Hart , E F K & Matson , C 2017 , ' Situating merchants in late eighteenth-century British Atlantic port cities ' Early American Studies , vol. 15 , no. 4 , pp. 660-682 . DOI: 10.1353/eam.2017.0024
Early American Studies
Copyright 2017 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at: https://doi.org/10.1353/eam.2017.0024
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