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So Great a Proffit : How the East Indies Trade Transformed Anglo-american Capitalism (Hardcover)

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"This remarkable book shows the crucial role of American traders in global commerce during years of general war, and makes a bold revisionist argument for the role of the capital the merchants accumulated in the `great divergence' between North Atlantic societies and the rest of the world. Based on wide research and full of lively writing about a remarkable variety of places and people, it will be read with profit and pleasure by all students of the origins of the modern world."

"Examining a set of economic relations that have seldom been given the attention they deserve, Fichter informs us about the important and far-ranging changes linking the expanding American trade with the East Indies, its impacts upon the British East India Company and the British Empire, movements in the international trade of East and South Asia, and the growth of merchant wealth and capital in the northeastern United States. This book tells a different story in a most thought-provoking manner."

"Fichter offers a completely new view of the American contribution to Asian trade in a crucial period in global history. Operating in a totally different way from the East India companies, American traders created new networks and business organizations in the Pacific, forcing Britain to revoke the East India Company monopoly in order to save British trade interests. A well-written, innovative, and important work."

"Fichter has given us a powerful and authoritative book of major importance to students of empire and business alike."

In a work of sweep and ambition, James Fichter explores how American trade proved pivotal to the evolution of capitalism in the United States and helped to shape the course of the British Empire.

Before the American Revolution, colonial merchants were part of a trading network that spanned the globe. After 1783, U.S. merchants began trading in the East Indies independently, creating a new class of investor-capitalists and the first generation of American millionaires. Such wealth was startling in a country where, a generation earlier, the most prosperous Americans had been Southern planters. This mercantile elite brought its experience and affluence to other sectors of the economy, helping to concentrate capital and create wealth, and paving the way for the modern business corporation.

Conducted on free trade principles, American trade in Asia was so extensive that it undermined the monopoly of the British East India Company and forced Britain to open its own free trade to Asia. The United States and the British Empire thus converged around shared, Anglo-American free-trade ideals and financial capitalism in Asia. American traders also provided a vital link to the Atlantic world for Dutch Java and French Mauritius, and were at the vanguard of Western contact with Polynesia and the Pacific Northwest.

Based on an impressive array of sources from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States, this pathbreaking book revolutionizes our understanding of the early American economy in a global context and the relationship between the young nation and its former colonial master.

Specifications

Publisher Harvard Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780674050570
SKU 212574035
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0674050576
Release Date 5/31/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0384
Publisher Harvard University Press

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