Merchants and Empire
Trading in Colonial New York
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.
About the Author
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.
In this important new book, Cathy Matson breaks the mold by examining the entire New York merchant community across the entire colonial period. This inclusiveness yields good results; it provides a better understanding of New York's success as an American port city... Matson constructs her story out of careful research in the extensive correspondence and account books left by New York merchants and tells her story in rich and compelling detail, along the way constructing a new standard and a new paradigm for scholarship on colonial merchants.
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.
Matson's book not only makes an important contribution to scholarship on the economic history of New York and the Middle colonies but also provides a comprehensive analysis of developments in Anglo-American economic discourse between 1620 and 1770.
Merchants and Empire is a very solid study of New York merchants and a valuable addition to the literature of Anglo-American Atlantic commerce.
Other Titles from Early America: History, Context, Culture
Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / General
Other Titles in History of the Americas