Money, Mercantilism and Empire in the Early English Atlantic, 1607-1697




Barth, Jonathan Edward

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Money was one of the most contested issues between England and its American colonies in the seventeenth century: the common denominator impelling each side of a transatlantic drama. The currency-rooted conflict was a principal offshoot of mercantilism, the most foundational theory of empire in the early modern period. Acting in accordance to mercantilist theory, imperial officials sought to mold colonial commerce so as to privilege the monetary interests of England. But the colonists too wanted money, and recurrently engaged in acts of economic and political resistance to an imperial policy of monetary subordination. Only with the post-revolutionary settlement of the 1690s did the conflict partially resolve itself, with the generality of American colonists now tolerating a greater degree of economic and monetary sacrifice for the greater good of empire.



American history, Economic history, History, Boston, Colonial America, Currency, Empire, Mercantilism, Money