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Cotton CapitalistsAmerican Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era$
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Michael R. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479879700

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479879700.001.0001

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(p.199) Conclusion
Cotton Capitalists

Michael R. Cohen

NYU Press

The conclusion reaffirms how the history of Jewish merchants in the American cotton industry is not only a story of American Jewish success that accounts for a golden age for Jews during the Reconstruction era. It is also a more universal case study that speaks to niche economies and minority entrepreneurship more broadly, revealing the ways in which ethnicity mattered in the development of global capitalism. It suggests that the economic milieu in which a niche economy emerged was critical, and any explanation of how niche economies function must begin with a rigorous understanding of that particular capitalism. But within the confines of those structural factors, ethnicity fostered trust in the economic transactions upon which a particular capitalism relied. These forces worked together to provide minority groups such as Jews a competitive advantage that fueled their niche economies.

Keywords:   capitalism, cotton, merchants, Jewish, ethnicity, niche economy

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