Merchants and Empire: Trading in Colonial New York

Front Cover
Johns Hopkins University Press, Nov 26, 2002 - Business & Economics - 472 pages
0 Reviews
In Merchants & Empire Cathy Matson examines the attitudes and practices of New York's wholesale merchants, a group that operated beneath the gaze of imperial traders yet made up as much as 80 percent of the mercantile community. She finds them an interesting, if opportunistic, lot - quick to flout authority to their own advantage, but also willing to enjoy the benefits of British imperial protection when it suited them. These merchants succeeded in extending their interior market range up navigable rivers and out early roads, drawing as many settlers as they could reach into the commercial economy. They also defied British law by trading directly with the West Indies. Such opportunism, Matson finds, finally enabled middling or lesser merchants to fashion a plausible alternative to mercantilism - and to make the challenge to British rule in 1775 commercially attractive. Merchants & Empire also offers detailed portraits of individual traders and vivid descriptions of their New York City environs, taking the reader inside the shops and warehouses where business was transacted. This book will interest students and scholars of economic history, early America, and old New York.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

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.

Bibliographic information