This introductory chapter sets out the book's main objectives, namely to explain the rise of British Atlantic colonies within an empire struggling to fashion its authority institutionally on the one hand, and detail the transnational alliances forged in everyday commerce on the other. The book recaptures the process by which a new idea of an exclusive British empire displaced the seventeenth century's interimperial Atlantic community, focusing on the experience of colonists living in three specific places—New York, Barbados, and the English Leeward Islands—who had important connections to Dutch traders. Concentrating on the commercial experience of these individuals, it investigates how colonists maintained and adapted their extant commercial practices to outside efforts to tame them by asking: Why did British colonists trade with Dutch merchants? What goods did they exchange? How did this trade occur? How did these patterns change over time? What was the impact of commercial regulations on Anglo-Dutch exchange? How did interimperial exchange shape the economic habits of British colonies? And finally, when and why did colonists shift away from Dutch trade? An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.