The Material Atlantic: Clothing, Commerce, and Colonization in the Atlantic World, 1650-1800

The Material Atlantic: Clothing, Commerce, and Colonization in the Atlantic World, 1650-1800

by Robert S. DuPlessis


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In this wide-ranging account, Robert DuPlessis examines globally sourced textiles that by dramatically altering consumer behaviour, helped create new economies and societies in the early modern world. This deeply researched history of cloth and clothing offers new insights into trade patterns, consumer demand and sartorial cultures that emerged across the Atlantic world between the mid-seventeenth and late-eighteenth centuries. As a result of European settlement and the construction of commercial networks stretching across much of the planet, men and women across a wide spectrum of ethnicities, social standings and occupations fashioned their garments from materials old and new, familiar and strange, and novel meanings came to be attached to different fabrics and modes of dress. The Material Atlantic illuminates crucial developments that characterised early modernity, from colonialism and slavery to economic innovation and new forms of social identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107105911
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/14/2015
Pages: 367
Sales rank: 413,332
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Robert S. DuPlessis is Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations Emeritus at the Department of History, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Introduction: fashioning the Atlantic world; 1. Dress regimes at the dawn of the shared Atlantic; 2. Acquiring imported textiles and dress; 3. Redressing the indigenous Americas; 4. Dress under constraint; 5. Dressing free settlers in the 'torrid zone'; 6. Free settler dress in temperate zones; 7. Atlantic dress regimes: fashions and meanings, implications and ironies; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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