Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York



A Dramatic Account Of Illicit Trading By New York City Merchants, Some Of Whom Became America S Founding Fathers, During The French And Indian War This Enthralling Book Is The First To Uncover The Story Of New York City Merchants Who Engaged In Forbidden Trade With The Enemy Before And During The Seven Years War Also Known As The French And Indian War Ignoring British Prohibitions Designed To End North America S Wartime Trade With The French, New York S Merchant Elite Conducted A Thriving Business In The French West Indies, Insisting That Their Behavior Was Protected By Long Practice And British Commercial Law But The Government In London Viewed It As Treachery, And Its Subsequent Efforts To Discipline North American Commerce Inflamed The ColonistsThrough Fast Moving Events And Unforgettable Characters, Historian Thomas M Truxes Brings Eighteenth Century New York And The Atlantic World To Life There Are Spies, Street Riots, Exotic Settings, Informers, Courtroom Dramas, Interdictions On The High Seas, Ruthless Businessmen, Political Intrigues, And The Author Traces Each Phase Of The City S Trade With The Enemy And Details The Frustrations That Affected Both British Officials And Independent Minded New Yorkers The First Book To Focus On New York City During The Seven Years War, Defying Empire Reveals The Important Role The City Played In Hastening The Colonies March Toward RevolutionDefying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York

Professor Tom Truxes is a specialist in the history of early modern Ireland and pre Revolutionary British America,

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  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York
  • Thomas M. Truxes
  • English
  • 01 January 2018
  • 0300118406

10 thoughts on “Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York

  1. says:

    A couple of jacket blurbs from respected historians of the period describe this as riveting history That s going a bit far Defying Empire offers a thorough but unpadded analysis of the trade conducted between New York merchants and the French during the French and Indian War Seven Year s War to the rest of the world , 1754 1763 Although some of the trade started legal, much of it violated British law, andandof it became illegal as the British Empire attempted to get control of A couple of jacket blurbs from respected historians of the period describe this as riveting history That s going a bit far Defying Empire offers a thorough but unpadded analysis of the trade conducted between New York merchants and the French during the French and Indian War Seven Year s War to the rest of the world , 1754 1763 Although some of the trade started legal, much of it violated British law, andandof it became illegal as the British Empire attempted to get control of resources that were strengthening Britain s opponents France, and then also Spain in the global conflict Truxes explores the variety of forms the trade took 40% through transfers in Monte Cristi Bay, a middle of nowhere undeveloped port on the north side of Hispaniola now in the Dominican Republican, but close to the border with Haiti 25% through flag trucing , where American ships sailed to return or pick up prisoners of war or actors hired for that part , and in the process transported goods for illegal sale 20% through neutral islands and 15% direct illegal trade with the enemy p.89 There s a lot of detail, drawn from archival records, about specific ships and traders, and the book follows a set of lawsuits between an informer and the well connected merchants who initially thwarted him and then became the focus ofstrenuous prosecutions and enforcement A theme of the history is the way British imperial attempts to get control of the trade kept running aground, because the trade involved several of the leading families of New York, and the apparatus of colonial governance was thoroughly compromised As Truxes outlines in an epilogue, the story fits into a larger arc of colonial relations from 1607 on, the British empire had managed the colonies with a policy of salutary neglect , and as a result, the colonies mercantile economy grew rapidly, benefiting both the colonies and the economy of Britain itself The Seven Year s War shifted the concerns of imperial leaders, who resented the strategic benefits of trade to Britain s enemies and sought to captureof the surplus from the trade to pay for the expenses of global empire The resulting enforcement of the existing Navigation Acts, combined with new measures to tax tea and stamps, further alienated colonial merchants heading into the crucial decade of the 1770s, beyond the end of this book By then, other factors were at work too, and Truxes doesn t portray the New York merchants of 1760 as proto revolutionaries in fact, it s kind of stunning how many of the French trading merchants eventually ended up in England, or on the Loyalist British side by the late 1770s But Defying Empire does reveal the ongoing tensions in local governance in New York, and the way imperial laws could look very different on different sides of the Atlantic, both themes that thread on to the Revolutionary era

  2. says:

    This book looks at why American merchants in New York traded with the French during the Seven Years War For one, Americans had always engaged in smuggling, and war increased the opportunity to make money in certain avenues NY merchants justified their actions by saying that their trade increased exports, and thus that money went into the coffers of the British rather than letting neutral nations reap all the profits This book points to the importance of the pre Sugar Stamp tax the Flour Act This book looks at why American merchants in New York traded with the French during the Seven Years War For one, Americans had always engaged in smuggling, and war increased the opportunity to make money in certain avenues NY merchants justified their actions by saying that their trade increased exports, and thus that money went into the coffers of the British rather than letting neutral nations reap all the profits This book points to the importance of the pre Sugar Stamp tax the Flour Act of 1757, which forbade colonists from exporting flour, while Britain and Ireland were exempted This made colonists feel like second class citizens, a feeling that would boil over after the war into violence.This is a great book for seeing how the British Empire worked American merchants supported the war, but felt that being British meant being able to trade with whoever they wanted unlike NE in the War of 1812, who didn t support the war By the 18th century, two visions of the Atlantic World existed 1 Imperial lines on a map to be controlled 2 provincial entangled networks of trade Bound to clash

  3. says:

    It was interesting enough, kind of a slog in the middle but came to a fascinating conclusion I feel like it could have easily been written in about 80 90 pages instead.

  4. says:

    Fantastic In a brisk, suspenseful narrative, Truxes of Trinity College, with whom I took a Modern Irish History course illuminates a little known aspect of the seminal conflict in early American history the Seven Years War New York City s merchant elite assisted by co conspirators in Connecticut Rhode Island, primarily developed elaborate schemes to circumvent British Navigation acts and carry on a lucrative trade with the French enemy Including instances where merchants hired privat Fantastic In a brisk, suspenseful narrative, Truxes of Trinity College, with whom I took a Modern Irish History course illuminates a little known aspect of the seminal conflict in early American history the Seven Years War New York City s merchant elite assisted by co conspirators in Connecticut Rhode Island, primarily developed elaborate schemes to circumvent British Navigation acts and carry on a lucrative trade with the French enemy Including instances where merchants hired privateers to seize their own ships Fortunes were made and sometimes lost as ship owners and merchants supplied vital military stores to the French with impunity This, of course, incensed the British military, whose efforts to stop the trade were hampered by collusion and corruption in the criminal and civil justice establishment The eventual crackdown on this activity then end of salutary neglect sowed the seeds of the American Revolution It s an original piece of research that reads like a novel Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in early American or maritime history, or in the history of New York City

  5. says:

    excellent book, blew my mind open with ideas of books of my own, and changed my view on the humanity of the time I needtime to review it properly but it was great for me personally.

  6. says:

    eye opening

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