A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the by Elaine F. Crane

By Elaine F. Crane

This paintings tells a narrative in regards to the sea, an American colonial city, and the British. It relates how Newport's dependence at the Atlantic Ocean ruled approximately each point of its lifestyles. Newport discovered early from its watery atmosphere that its survival and prosperity have been inextricably associated with trade. depending on a thriving alternate, Newporters have been prepared to discover and mixture of routes which urged a profitable go back in voyage and funding. Newport's single-minded dedication to trade produced a society during which humans have been additionally depending on one another. service provider and dockworker, sailmaker and rope-walk proprietor built symbiotic relationships due to their universal efforts to make sure the luck of every voyage. Dependency additionally prolonged to social networks the place the prosperous took accountability for different individuals of the group. as a result of their dependence on unobstructed alternate, Newporters had refrained from British customs for generations, utilizing tools which forged a few doubt on their dedication to the legislations. hence, while it grew to become transparent in 1764 that Britain might visit nice lengths to implement new tasks, the level was once set for war of words. finally, occasions outstripped the facility of Newport to chart its personal direction because the violence escalated. The Revolution upfront ended Newport's golden age and destroyed the city either bodily and spiritually. A established humans had received independence yet at a price just a couple of may perhaps foresee.

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Additional resources for A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era

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A paper currency. Newport's ascendancy as well as its decline was intricately linked both to its position as a seaport and to the precise nature of the goods loaded and unloaded on the piers. Philadelphia imported grain and milled flour; Newport imported molasses and distilled rum. New York imported dry goods and sold luxury items to the carriage trade; Newport acted as the essential middleman, collecting cargoes from all who would sell, and redirecting them to whoever would buy. " Although there were many possible three-legged Page 10 routes, only one is commonly associated with that phrase.

Strict Puritan doctrine demanded economic moderation and the suppression of self-interest for the good of the whole. But as tempting opportunities presented themselves, the history of seventeenth-century Massachusetts became, at least in part, a story of the conflict between expanding mercantilism and undiluted Puritanism. If it took almost a century for mercantile interests to prevail in Massachusetts, however, Rhode Island merchants achieved predominance in far less time. The original settlers of Newport found Boston's brand of Puritanism incompatible with their own as early as 1639, and once they Page xii left their guilt on the Massachusetts side of the border, they had little reason to contain their accumulation of wealth.

1 The skeptics, sad to say, have archaeological evidence on their side, and it is generally agreed today that the tower was built as a mill in the last quarter of the seventeenth century by Governor Benedict Arnold on whose land it stood. The controversy over the tower is not surprising, however, since Newport has been surrounded by controversy for a good part of its history. 2 In 1638 several alleged Antinomian sympathizers, led by John Clarke and William Coddington, avoided certain banishment from the Bay Colony by following Roger Williams into the wilderness of Rhode Island.

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